Favourites to win the Giro d'Italia 2022

Road 28 abr. 2022 17:04 Migue A.

We leave behind the classics races that have kept us on a thrilling start of the season to focus our attention on the first of the Grand Tours. The Giro d'Italia 2022 arrives with an edition that looks more open than ever and with a truly luxury participation.

Giro d'Italia 2022, more open than ever before

If the Slovenian domination of the last two years in the Tour de France has had one consequence, it is that the rest of the riders are trying to diversify their objectives instead of betting everything on an improbable victory in the French round. A change of paradigm that has redounded to the benefit of the other two big stage races: Giro and Vuelta which, as can be guessed from the level of participation in the imminent Giro d'Italia 2022, assures us a race full of alternatives and without a clear candidate to wear the highly desired maglia rosa.

However, among the list of favourites there are several who have already demonstrated an optimal form for the transalpine round and who do not hesitate to place this race as their number one goal of the season. What we are sure of is that, with the tough course that once again this year's Corsa Rosa presents, the winner will be a rider with strong climbing skills.

These are the main contenders to win the beautiful Senza Fine trophy on 29 May on the streets of Verona.

Joao Almeida

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 1,78 m
  • Weight: 63 kg
  • Team: UAE Team Emirates
  • Best Giro d'Italia ranking: 4th (2020)
  • 2022 Results: Volta a Catalunya (3rd + 1 stage), Paris-Niza (8th, best youngster), UAE Tour (5th)

The fact that the Emirati squad does not have Tadej Pogacar in its line-up does not mean that they should not be taken into account for the final victory. Joao Almeida will take part in the start of the Corsa Rosa having shown great form in the Volta a Catalunya in which he won the Queen stage that ended in the ski resort of Boí Taüll, getting into a fight for the overall that did not end as he would have liked thanks to the ride of Carapaz and Higuita in the next stage that made him settle for third place in the Catalan round.

He arrives at the Giro ready to prove that his phenomenal performance in 2020 was no coincidence and that at 23 years of age he is ready to take on a Grand Tour with confidence.

Richard Carapaz

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 1,70 m
  • Weight: 62 kg
  • Team: INEOS Grenadiers
  • Best Giro d'Italia ranking: 1st (2019)
  • 2022 Results: Volta a Catalunya (2nd + 1 stage), Ecuadorian National Time Trial Champion

Again with honours in Dave Brailsford's squad, the Ecuadorian rider will be at the start of the Giro 2022 ready to show his best version, the one that earned him in 2019, still in the team Movistar, to win the maglia rosa.
Along the way he has left us a race attack in the penultimate stage of the Volta a Catalunya in the company of Sergio Higuita who, after a long ride in the rain, made them both share the final places of privilege of this race.
Richard will have a real luxury team at his disposal with riders like Ritchie Porte or Jonathan Castroviejo to support his candidacy for the final victory.

Mikel Landa

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 1,73 m
  • Weight: 60 kg
  • Team: Bahrain - Victorious
  • Best Giro d'Italia ranking: 3rd (2015)
  • 2022 Results: Tirreno Adriatico (3rd)

At 32 years of age, the Vitoria native does not have many chances left to take victory in a Grand Tour stage race. The Giro d'Italia has become an obsession for which Mikel has prepared thoroughly.

More focused and stronger than ever, only a third place in the overall standings adorns his record. However, we have seen him showing his form in the Tour of the Alps or in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
He will also be supported by a team that arrives with the mentality of being a protagonist and in which cyclists of the importance of Wout Poels, Luis León Sánchez or Pello Bilbao are a guarantee to overcome any complicated situation.

Romain Bardet

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 1,84 m
  • Weight: 65 kg
  • Team: Team DSM
  • Best Giro d'Italia ranking: 7th (2021)
  • 2022 Results: Tour of the Alps (1st)

Another distinguished veteran, who is in top form for a round that suits his qualities as a climber like a glove.

The unchallenged victory in the recently disputed Tour of the Alps has earned points for the candidacy of Romain Bardet who, let's not forget, already knows what it's like to stand on the podium of the Tour de France and on Italian soil will race without the usual pressure that falls on the French cyclists in the race in their country, orphans of grand tours for too long.

Simon Yates

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 1,72 m
  • Weight: 58 kg
  • Team: Team BikeExchaje - Jayco
  • Best Giro d'Italia ranking: 3rd (2021)
  • 2022 Results: Paris-Niza (2nd + 1 stage)

The British rider is looking to put a happy ending to the love-hate relationship he has had with the Italian round since 2018, when he succumbed to one of the best days of Chris Froome's career, losing a maglia rosa that he had already touched with the fingers of his hand. He returned last year to demonstrate a great level in the Corsa Rosa, but he still needs to get rid of that thorn that resists him.

On the way to the start in Budapest he has not been very active, although he did leave us a fantastic last stage of Paris-Nice with an unsuccessful assault on Primoz Roglic's lead.

To be taken into consideration

Even if they are riders who, in the initial plan, are on the second step or are handed over to their theoretical leaders, we must not take our eyes off them. The winding configuration of the Giro d'Italia route and the traps that are usually hidden in this race can turn the situation around at any moment and put them in the leading role.

If one name comes to mind that could fit this profile, it is Alejando Valverde (Movistar Team) who, at 42 years of age, never ceases to surprise us, accumulating places of honour wherever he goes. He will try to support the chances of his teammate Iván Ramiro Sosa for the general classification and to catch a stage in the nervous finals of the Corsa Rosa.

We cannot forget Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious). Although his mission as road captain for Mikel Landa will mean fewer opportunities for him to shine on his own, he has been at his best in the previous weeks and he is the one to watch in a race in which he has already shown that he feels like a fish in water.

We should also keep an eye on the Astana Qazaqstan Team, which has a line-up that promises to be a real contender when the roads go uphill with the trident of Vincenzo Nibali, Miguel Angel Lopez and David de la Cruz.

The presence of a winner of this round such as Tom Dumolin (Jumbo-Visma) cannot be overlooked either. Although his best moments are far behind him, he is sure to leave us a glimpse of his quality throughout this Giro.

Although he may not be among the favourites for a place of honour in the overall standings, we will also have our eyes on Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who is sure to surprise us with some of his genius.

How to watch the Giro d'Italia 2022?

Once again, Eurosport lives up to its self-proclaimed title of "The home of cycling" with extensive coverage on its E1 channel and the Eurosport Player and GCN+ apps. In addition, residents of the Basque Country and Navarre will be able to follow the race on the Basque regional television station ETB, as well as on its webcast.

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