For those who pined for the UCI WorldTour during lockdown, heads will now be spinning as we find ourselves plunging manically into a washing machine of monuments, classics and grand tours for the foreseeable future; so no complaining!
Today’s agenda is the Giro d’Italia which gets underway with a time trial of unique design, sending the riders downhill for a large part, which is saying something when it only lasts 15.1km anyway; expect massive chainrings and big average speeds.
Having monstered his way to the rainbow bands last weekend, Filippo Ganna is the favourite on this high speed course, which will suit his immense power output. For the Italian to win, it really should be a simple case of staying upright and claiming his debut win as world individual time trial champion.
Though it was apparent Rohan Dennis was off the pace at the world championships, it was still surprising as to how early he shipped time to Ganna and the eventual deficit he finished by. He generally favours courses much longer and testing than this to really demonstrate his best, but is one of the riders most likely to push Ganna closest for the win.
It will be extremely interesting to see what Geraint Thomas can produce on this course, as his performance at Imola against the clock showed a rider in great form and a definite favourite for the overall Giro d’Italia title. His career transitioned from the track, where his previous pursuit prowess saw him perform well in several high ranking prologues, before moving onwards to general classification ambitions. It is likely that Ganna is being shaped a similar way by Team INEOS and we could see a close fought contest between the two.
Victor Campenaerts, Michael Matthews, Alex Dowsett and Tony Martin could be the first riders home after a Team INEOS podium, but none who raced at the world championships against Ganna looked close to the ability of the Italian and his teammates on that ocassion.
1st Filippo Ganna 2nd Geraint Thomas 3rd Rohan Dennis