106th Tour of Italy: five essentials not to be missed

106th Tour of Italy: five must-sees not to be missed


The 106th Tour of Italy cycling begins on Saturday in Fossacesia, Abruzzo, with a 19-kilometre time trial that will allow Slovenian Promoz Roglic to challenge world champion Remco Evenepoel from the start . 

The end of the spring classics always heralds the first major event of the season. A few times in recent times, the Giro has been more exciting than the Tour de France, crushed under tremendous pressure.  

The last few years have however belied this consistency with the arrival of a new generation of runners in their early twenties who are shaking up traditions. By their exciting way of running, without calculating economy, the young wolves are thirsty for victories. 

A bit unpredictable, the route of the Tour of Italy 2023 should appeal to riders and fans alike. 

With 3,489 kilometers and 51,400 meters of elevation gain, climbers will be well served. Three individual time trials are scheduled for a total of 70.6 kilometers, almost three times more than last year.  

Here are 5 must-sees not to be missed during for the next three weeks.

1. The announced duel

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step)

In the absence of the Australian Jai Hindley, defending champion, the Giro will crown a new winner. 

At the risk of repeating ourselves, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick Step) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo -Visma) are the favorites this year. 

The 33-year-old Slovenian from Jumbo-Visma, three-time winner of the Tour of Spain, has won the Tour of Catalonia and Tirreno-Adriatico this season.&nbsp ;

For his part, Evenepoel, the little cannibal22 years old, won the Tour of the United Arab Emirates and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also finished 2nd in the Tour of Catalonia, just behind Roglic. 

Unfortunately for Roglic, the last few years have shown that the youngest riders generally have the last word over their elders during the great battles. The road is however long before the arrival in Rome on May 28. 

Experts also give chances to Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the Giro 2020, Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de France 2018, Joao Almeida, 4th in 2020, and Aleksandr Vlasov, 4th in 2021. 

2. The Covid again

Even if the pandemic seems behind us, a slight increase in positive cases sows doubt and worries the peloton who fear contamination at the dawn of the start. 

Covid-19 is back with several runners testing positive forced to forfeit. 

Primoz Roglic's team are particularly affected but the powerful Jumbo have sufficient squads.

Robert Gesink, Tobias Foss and Jos van Emden will be absent. 

The Bahrain team have announced the withdrawal of Swiss Gino Mäder, whom the Soudal – Quick Step, fearful for its leader, specified that Remco Evenepoel would not share his room with any teammate. 

3. One last lap

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Groupama)

This Giro will be the opportunity to see for the last time in Italy the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Groupama), who announced his retirement at the end of the season. Fourth in the 2017 Tour of Italy, the 32-year-old cyclist wants to win a stage and fight with the best, possibly for a top 10in the general classification. The three altitude finishes in the third week should suit him. We could then see the great friend of Quebecer Antoine Duchesne on the roads of the Tour de France next July. Far from the limelight, he will be able to raise his goats in peace, he who does not like the life of a star. 

4. A little less pressure

The second biggest race in the world is going normally without the terrible pressure of July. The sums invested are enormous and for all professional teams, a stage victory in the Tour de France almost means the success or failure of a season for the main sponsor. The absence in Italy of Wout van Aert, Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar and Mathieu Van der Poel should leave plenty of room for several rising stars to shine. Amateurs often emerge victorious. 

5. Only one Canadian 

With the retirement of Antoine Duchesne, all Canadian cards are now found at Israel-Premier Tech, a team invited to Italy. The formation should normally align Guillaume Boivin, Hugo Houle and Michael Woods in the Tour de France. At the Giro d'Italia, rookie Derek Gee will be the only Canadian at the start. For his first big tour, the 25-year-old Ottawan said he was excited and nervous. 

With Israel-Premier Tech, Domenico Pozzovino, 40, will be cycling his 17th Tour of Italy. Sebastian Berwick, Simon Clarke, Marco Frigo, Matthew Riccitello, Stevie Williams and Mads Wurtz Schmidt complete the team.  

Derek Gee is the Canadian champion in the time trial in 2022. He also took fifth place in the team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics.