Giro 2022 – The favorites of the Tour of Italy 2022 under scrutiny, from Richard Carapaz to Romain Bardet via Mikel Landa

In the absence of Tadej Pogacar, above all, but also Primoz Roglic and even Jonas Vingegaard, the 105th Giro promises to be very open. If Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) is the logical favorite, the Ecuadorian does not seem untouchable for his opponents and there will be many of them. In the forefront of these, there will be Romain Bardet (Team DSM), recent winner of the Tour of the Alps, but also Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious).

Richard Carapaz

  • Country: Ecuador
  • Team: INEOS Grenadiers
  • Age: 28 years old
  • 3rd participation
  • Best result: 1st (2019)

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He still has a few years ahead of him but Richard Carapaz has a second opportunity to make history on this Giro d’Italia 2022. Never in history has an Olympic champion won a grand tour the year immediately following his title at the OJ. Beyond the historical aspect, his overall success, if it really were to take place, would come under a certain logic. Because if he has experienced lower moments, “Richie” has established himself as one of the best riders of the grand tours for three years.

Richard Carapaz

Credit: Getty Images

Winner of the Giro 2019, a little to everyone’s surprise, the leader of INEOS Grenadiers, had pushed Roglic to his limits on the Vuelta 2020 before being the third man of the Tour in 2021. His candidacy, already solid, could have a little more thickness still if its very beginning of the season had not been average (abandonment in Bessèges, in Provence and on Tirreno). He has not run since a very good Tour of Catalonia (2nd), so he will be fresh. Last argument in its favor, a very strong INEOS formation (Porte, Sivakov, Narvaez, Castroviejo…)

Romain Bardet

  • Country: France
  • Team: Team DSM
  • Age: 31 years old
  • 2nd participation
  • Best result: 7th (2021)

They are four in the 21st century to have triumphed in the Tour of the Alps before being crowned in the Tour of Italy. From Gilberto Simoni (2003) to Vincenzo Nibali (2013) via Damiano Cunego (2004) and Michele Scarponi (2011), Romain Bardet has a few examples to follow even if these are starting to date. In the fight with bonuses with Pello Bilbao, the Frenchman blew up the Spaniard on the last stage to again offer himself a general classification, nine years after the last (Tour de l’Ain 2013).

Around Lienz, no one could follow him among the headliners of this Giro. Neither Bilbao, nor Lopez, nor Landa. The Frenchman, flanked by Thymen Arensman, his brilliant teammate, was untouchable. What will happen after the departure from Budapest? The 25 short kilometers of time in total benefit him and a complicated third week should give pride of place to his recovery qualities. Better, he promised in our show Bistrot Vélo to be “sure of his strength”. What to consider an exceptional Giro? Hope is frankly permitted.

Mikel Landa

  • Country: Spain
  • Team: Bahrain-Victorious
  • Age: 32 years old
  • 7th participation
  • Best result: 3rd (2015)

Will you take a dose of “Landismo” again? On each major tour in which he participates, Mikel Landa is accompanied by a cohort of fans who adore his audacity in addition to being moved by the bad luck that seems to pursue him. On land then at home from the 5th stage last year, the Basque could not defend his chances. He seems to be moving away from his good years but since it’s Landa, his supporters still believe in him.

At Bahrain, however, he could well be only the second option behind Pello Bilbao as his current form questions. Third in Tirreno where he made a strong impression, Landa did not shine in the general classification in the Alps but he worked a lot there for Bilbao. Still, when he completes a big lap, he is never far from the podium. If you are a fan of Landa, pray that luck is with him and he can ignite the race…

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Joao Almeida

  • Country: Portugal
  • Team: UAE Team Emirates
  • Age: 23 years old
  • 3rd participation
  • Best result: 4th (2020)

This is a very interesting case. Joao Almeida will start his third grand tour this Friday and his third… Giro. He also revealed himself to the greatest number on the roads of the Tour of Italy 2020 during which he had worn the pink jersey from the 2nd to the… 18th stage. A fanfare start before a complicated last week in 2021, the mirror effect of the previous year. Still at Quick-Step, the Portuguese had lost a lot of time from the fourth day before making a big comeback in the last week (6th overall).

Joao Almeida

Credit: Getty Images

Left for UAE to progress (and earn more money), the protege of the very influential agent Jorge Mendes, has freedom this year since he will not help Tadej Pogacar on the Tour de France. For his short-term future in the Emirati team, Almeida would be well advised to shine in this month of May because Ayuso, McNulty or Soler can or will also be eyeing leading places on the big tours in the months and years to come. . Excellent rider, he will not have this advantage this time but Almeida has proven that he is also capable of shining in the high mountains.

Miguel Angel Lopez

  • Country: Colombia
  • Team: Astana Qazaqstan
  • Age: 28 years old
  • 4th participation
  • Best result: 3rd (2018)

Miguel Angel Lopez and the big tours, it’s a bit like “I love you, me neither”. After six top 10 finishes in a row (from the Vuelta 2017 to the Tour de France 2020), we imagined him as a potential winner, if not probable, one day or another. Since ? Nothing left with three retirements, the last of which was incredible on the eve of the arrival of the Tour of Spain and when he saw his place on the podium sacrificed by his team at the time, Movistar.

“Superman” is back at Astana, the team that launched him among the “big guys” and there will be free rein unless Nibali is in great shape, which we can doubt. Although he removed a success from the recent Tour of the Alps, under the nose and beard of Thibaut Pinot, Lopez had warned that this was only a “stage” for him. Does he have the right pace from Hungary? The mystery remains intact. If so, his climbing qualities, perhaps the best on the plateau, make him one of the favourites, of course, but he will have to last for three weeks.

Simon Yates

  • Country: Great Britain
  • Team: BikeExchange – Jayco
  • Age: 29
  • 5th participation
  • Best result: 3rd (2021)

What to think of the Simon Yates version 2022? Like his Tour of Asturias where he blew heat (two stage successes in three days) and cold (failure on the 2nd stage), the Briton has alternated the good and the less good since his resumption in mid -february. Without a Wout Van Aert of the great days, he could have overthrown Primoz Roglic on the last stage of Paris-Nice which he won but he abandoned the Tour of Catalonia a few days later due to illness. In short, difficult to see clearly.

The last for Simon Yates, the final victory for Roglic: the last kilometer in video

Still, the memory of his third week of the Giro 2021 is tenacious. Pushed back to 5th place overall after the terrible stage in Cortina, Yates had put on his blaster clothes to get back on the podium (3rd overall) by taking the Alpe di Mera stage. The former Vuelta winner had never really confirmed his potential over three weeks before 2021. Who knows what he has in store for us in 2022?

Pello-Bilbao

  • Country: Spain
  • Team: Bahrain-Victorious
  • Age: 32 years old
  • 6th participation
  • Best result: 5th (2020)

Can Pello Bilbao do it? For a long time, he was confined to a team role in his various teams, but the Basque is gaining momentum within a Bahrain-Victorious which once again relies on Mikel Landa. But if in the past, the leadership would have returned entirely to the latter, the CV of Bilbao speaks for him. Success in the Tour des Alpes would have allowed him to gain even more confidence, but he broke down on the final day.

At this game, Bilbao is too strong for Bardet

However, his start to the 2022 season is in his image: with great regularity. Third in the UAE Tour, ahead of Vlasov or Almeida, 9th in Tirreno and still 5th in the Tour of the Basque Country, the 32-year-old rider took the cash. Let’s note right away that a final success would be a big surprise but seeing Bilbao on the podium will not come as a surprise. For him too, the absence of long lap times is a good thing.

And also…

Rating *: Pavel Sivakov, Hugh Carthy, Guillaume Martin, Tom Dumoulin, Jai Hindley, Alejandro Valverde, Ivan Sosa, Giulio Ciccone and Thymen Arensman.

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