The riders in this year’s Giro d’Italia have more passion for the race than ever, and with the ‘pink tour’ gaining more and more recognition, there’s no reason for us to see it as a second-rate tour to the ‘big one’ in France. Some of the riders in our ‘riders to watch’ report have even written off the Tour de France in hopes of using the Giro as their main priority and focus. Other riders featured here will make their names in this year’s Giro d’Italia, going on to a huge cycling career after it.
For all cyclists involved, the pure joy and romance cycling through Italy is a pleasure and an honour. One of the homes of European cycling, Italy has just about as much to offer as any other alpine country, and more.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
One of the favourites for Giro, Nairo Quintana will be leading Team Movistar out for the first time. The twenty-four year old, defined by his slight physique and tactical lightness, is one of the finest climbers in professional cycling today. After only being with the Movistar team for a matter of months,a young Quintana won the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2012, solidifying his place as a serious contender in the world of cycling.
This year we expect to see Quintana breezing up mountains before anybody else
Cadel Evans (BMC)
After living in Italy for a period, and coming third in last years Giro d’Italia, it’s no surprise to learn that BMC racer Cadel Evans wants to focus 100% on the Italian tour this year, favouring it over the Tour de France, which he hasn’t bothered with this year.
Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp)
As the tour starts in Ireland this year, it’s only fitting to feature an Irishman – we had to – but this isn’t any old Irishman, this is Dan Martin. Dan Martin is a hard rider, notorious for his Time Trial efforts and durability, and will surely put on a show this year in Italy.
Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
Riding for the team Giant, as well as being a pretty giant sprinter himself compared to others, Marcel Kittel is up for a good race this season. With Mark Cavendish out of the event, a key member of the competition is dropped, and Kittel may come storming out through the gaps.
Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE)
Another great sprinter, Michael Matthews is a contender for the sprint stages, weaving in and out of the more technical stages, Matthews is a new breed of speed demon. Matthews is actually blogging about his experience in the Giro, and you can catch it here. Watch out for this cyclists outsmarting the more traditional aggressive sprinters on the flat stages.