The Belgian Remco Evenepoel certified his status as top favorite for the final victory in the Giro d’Italia with a resounding victory in the time trial stage that kicked off this new edition of the race. For some media and specialists, Evenepoel’s law governs the Giro d’Italia from day one.
On the other hand, the most disappointing thing, a priori, is that his greatest rival, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, was 43 seconds behind the leader, which will cost a lot to recover.
The start with a time trial and with a very unusual distance for a first stage, no less than 16.6 km, is hardly to see certain differences and, for now, the state of form of the main favorites to put on the pink jersey .
Everything was done on a practically flat route between Fossacesia Marina and Ortona along the Adriatic coast, barely 100 meters of elevation gain, concentrated in the last kilometers of ascent to the center of Ortona. A small trap forced the cyclists to regulate their forces throughout the stage.
Brandon McNulty made it clear that the UAE Team Emirates has not come to this Giro for a walk, despite the fact that its leader Joao Almeida is theoretically one step below the names that appear in all bets to win the pink jersey.
Tao Geoghegan was the first of the GC hopefuls to take the start, meeting expectations about his form by dropping Vine’s time by 6 seconds. Almost at the same time that he reached the finish line, Geraint Thomas started, the other asset of INEOS Grenadiers who reached the finish line with the provisional 5th.
Minutes before, Joao Almeida had crossed the finish line, certifying the great role of UAE Team Emirates, achieving the best provisional time with 21:47. And after them came the climax of the time trial with the departure of Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic and Filippo Ganna, the top candidate for victory in the stage, with the permission of the Slovenian and the Belgian.
Remco impressed from the first intermediate timing point, lowering the time set by Geraint Thomas by no less than 20 seconds, in less than 10 km of time disputed. Primoz Roglic gave in at this point 27 seconds compared to the Belgian. Not even the giant from Verbania could come close to the Soudal-QuickStep rider’s record, losing 12 seconds to Evenepoel.
Some differences that would increase up to 42 seconds with respect to Roglic at the second timing point, at the foot of the final ascent to Ortona while the Italian maintained the type losing 15 seconds.
At the finish line, obviously, Remco Evenepoel took the best time and practically the mathematical victory in the stage with a stratospheric 21:18 and, of course, with the jackpot, the pink jersey with which he scares his rivals from the start. first day. Primoz Roglic arrived shortly after, leaving a juicy 43 seconds that represent a significant drag from the first day that will force the Slovenian not to speculate on the mountains.
For his part, Ganna had to settle for a bittersweet second place, marking 21:40, 22 seconds more than an incredible Evenepoel. A good time trial for Joao Almeida too, in his line, and which leaves him in a good position to assert his usual resistance to the limit in the mountains.
As we ventured at the beginning, substantial differences from the first moment that will leave no other option for those who want to assault the pink jersey than to toughen the race and seek to take advantage of all the traps that the race poses. Let’s enjoy the Giro that is coming.
Classification Stage 1
1.- Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) 21’18”
2.- Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) +22”
3.- Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +29
4.-Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) +40”
5.- Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) +43’’
6.- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +43’’ 7.- Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) +46”
Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico