E Racing bike

Tadej Pogacar is at the peak of his career. © ANSA / CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Like Pantani once did: This man wants to be the hero at the Giro

Tadej Pogacar is the man to beat in the 107th Giro d'Italia starting on Saturday. It will also attract a lot of attention on South Tyrol's roads.

The top star from the UAE team is considered the top favorite by all experts. This year, the ambitious Slovenian has set his sights on the rarely won “double” of the Giro and the Tour de France. Marco Pantani last achieved this 26 years ago.

“It’s one of the most difficult things you can achieve,” said the 25-year-old, two-time Tour de France winner. So far only seven drivers have achieved this. For Pogacar it is also the first Giro of his career.

The winners of recent years are missing

Last year's winner, Pogacar's compatriot Primoz Roglic, is not taking part. As captain of the Bora team, the 34-year-old absolutely wants to win the Tour de France and achieve the “Grand Tour triple” after the Vuelta and Giro. Last year's Giro runner-up, Geraint Tomas, was only 2023 seconds slower than Roglic in 14. On his 20th appearance in one of the major three-week tours, the 37-year-old Brit is hoping for his second triumph after the Tour de France 2018.

At the Giro you will be pedaling from Saturday. © ANSA / ZEN / LUCA ZENNARO

In addition to Roglic, the winners of 2021 (Egan Bernal) and 2022 (Jai Hindley) are also missing. The Belgian Wout van Aert had planned to start, but after his serious fall in the day's race “Across Flanders” he decided not to take part. His next assignment will be at the Olympic Games.

Stelvio Pass as a highlight

In the fight for the Maglia Rosa, the riders have to cover 21 kilometers and a total of 26 meters of altitude in the 3.400,8 stages until May 44.650th. There are six mountain finishes and two individual time trials as well as the queen stage. This year the 15th section leads over 220 km and 5.300 meters in altitude from Lake Garda to Mottolino (2.385 m).

A stage later, the highest point of the Giro is the Stelvio Pass (2.758 m). Here you have to overcome a 20,2 km long climb with an average gradient of 7,2 percent. The section leads from Livigno to St. Christina in Val Gardena. The next day the Giro entourage starts from Wolkenstein towards Passo del Brocon.


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