The Grand Tours keep coming. I can’t remember a season where the gap between the Giro and the Vuelta felt so quick. The Vuelta holds no surprises. The route is spiky and comes to a head in the final week. The field is packed with a mixture of big name GC riders seeking redemption and we’ve even got a top tier sprinter! Here are eight predictions…
Let’s celebrate this season’s winners. First, a recap of the rules: there are no spaces for superstars such as Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet and Chris Froome. This is a list for riders who did the unexpected or smashed their way to the top of the sport.
The perfect storm! Chris Froome completes historic Tour/Vuelta double – the first of its kind – on the same day that multiple Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador – the last of his kind – bows out in home race following fairytale stage win. Forget BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Chris Froome wasn’t even the highest trending pro cyclist on Twitter. Well, not at first anyway. By the time he sprinted to 11th to deny four-time stage winner Matteo Trentin the green jersey Contador was almost a distant memory.
There were plenty of big rides at this year’s Giro d’Italia as the race lived up to its billing as one of the best races on the calendar. There were eight Maglia Rosa wearers, seven bunch sprints, six days of Dumoulin, five summit finishes, four German winners, three near-misses for Kruijswijk, two more wins for Ulissi and one outrageous turnaround. Quite different from the final GC, here are my top 20 performances from the Giro d’Italia.