Giro d’Italia 2024 – Preview stage 2 – International Cycling

By @amatiz12

San Francesco al Campo Sanctuary of Oropa (161km)

Being only the second day of competition, we have the first high finish of this edition.

A simple day, without any geographical accident in the initial 94 km and which then presents an up and down without difficulty, with two 3rd climbs in which the breakaway will seek to be noticed.

Biella is where the gunpowder ignites, through a bonus sprint that begins a climb with history in the race.

Oropa is an easy climb to understand. Its first 5000 meters are easy and once that barrier is overcome, it is where the real slope begins.

The change in slope is drastic, almost 10%, with 1.6 km so that riders can warm up their legs, before the brief and final rest of 200 meters.

This is when the climbing becomes less irregular and that area of ​​between 5-3 km for the closure is where attacks usually occur precisely because it contains considerable and constant hardness.

If a runner was not able to do damage on that terrain, he practically has to wait until the final stretch. After crossing the flamme rouge, you will have to overcome several curves, where in the penultimate of them – 250 meters away – you turn right entering a cobblestone that goes to the finish line. Last turn to the left, entering the finishing straight of 125 meters and at 9%, composing an explosive arrival in which the favorites usually arrive one by one.

Climate

Pleasant temperatures and cloudy skies in the afternoon with minimal possibility of deluge.

Scenery

UAE revealed its shortcomings on a physical and tactical level, which does not make things so easy for its leader, who is nevertheless so good that with his own strength he can correct the collective disaster. Luckily for them, this stage is less strategic and in theory, they can leave control to INEOS, so they basically depend on the watts of their Slovenian gem. The drawback would be that the British wind up the breakaway, which would force them to put their still weak block to work, of course if they want it it is the triumph of the day.

That said, it would be wise for the rest of the peloton not to allow a light escape and rather try with men with greater cachet, who can take advantage of the group command vacuum that still exists in the race. At the same time, it is difficult for this to happen, since these types of runners are reserving themselves for the coming weeks.

So, it is likely that the dispute is in the lot, where, being a more accomplished and important promotion, it will reward whoever has the best legs. Given the surprises in Turin (Bardet and Arensman), it is not ruled out to witness another explosion.

Favorites

Tadej Pogacar – The best if the battle is between the general candidates.

Geraint Thomas – He looked good in the first practice and is an expert at finding his peak in important moments.

Antonio Tiberi – Another of the fit climbers.

Daniel Martínez – He started with good feelings that should be maintained in an arrival that suits him even more.

Ben O’Connor – He sowed doubts by suffering on the last slope.

Giulio Pellizzari – He entered with the best and not being referenced can give him an advantage if he is able to fight.

Einer Rubio – He will have more marking, but he is not the route that the greats will squeeze to pursue.

Prediction

Now it must be for Pogacar.

Alejandro Matiz

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