Shucks, we love Grand Tours. Sure the spring classics and smaller world tour races during the course of the year all offer great cycling spectacles but there is something special about watching the pros battle it out over 3 weeks of flat out racing!
The first Grand Tour for 2018, is underway and into its second week of racing. So far it’s delivered some of the best racing in recent years–from top quality sprinting to tactical master classes and pure climbing greatness. The battle for top GC is honours is alive and well, with the first 3 mountain top finishes having truly tested the favourites. One big shock is the GC positioning of Chris Froome, few would have predicted that he would be lying outside of the top 10 and over 3 minutes down on the leader of the Giro going into the second week of the race for the Maglia Rosa.
Speaking of GC favourites, Tom Domoulin remains well positioned in the over all standings and will be looking forward to the next Individual TT on the 22nd of May. He is the best rider against the clock inside the top 6 and it is something that the rest of the GC favourites are well aware of, so don’t be surprised if there are a few attacks to put the Dutchman under some pressure in the high mountains!
Two teams have stood out from the rest in the first week of racing. Quick-Step Floors, displayed the strength of the “Wolf Pack” and sprinting power of Elia Viniani as they helped guide the Italian to consecutive stage victories. Mitchelton Scott have dominated the mountains in the opening week, taking 2 of the 3 mountain top finishes. The Australian World Tour team have been in total control of the peleton and although the focus will be on Chaves and Yates who are the teams two GC hopefuls, Jack Haig (who is riding in his first Giro and is just 24 years old) has been a revelation in this years Giro and will be a key domestique in the high mountains to come.
There is still plenty of racing left and it’s probably too early to make finite predictions for the final positions riders will take on the GC standings. Week 2 promises to be filled with action packed racing as the favourites further down the standings will have to take more risks in an attempt to close the time gaps!
A reminder that you can stay up to date with all the live action on the go, with the live commentary feed on the Cycling News website. You don’t want to miss this one, fireworks in coming! Stay tuned, the Giro is just getting started!