Giro 2024 Favourites stage 1: Hilly race for pink

Tadej Pogacar cat - Giro 2024 Favourites stage 1: Hilly race for pinkfoto: Cor VosThe first Grand Tour of 2024 kicks off with a bang, serving up a challenging course right from the get-go. Obviously, the coveted pink jersey is up for grabs at the finish line. Will Tadej Pogacar lay his cards on the table from the outset? A punchy climb inside the last 3 kilometres precedes a drop down to the line. On paper, a perfect opportunity for the Slovene to highlight his ambitions - the pink jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

The riders tackle over 1,800 meters of climbing in the opening stage, not overly daunting, but with most of it crammed into the second half, we’re in for a thrilling ride. After conquering the Superga climb – 4.9 kilometers at a punishing 9.1% gradient – the riders have 61.5 kilometres of action ahead of them. They head straight to the heart of the race – the finishing circuit around Turin.

Even before crossing the finish line for the first time, the San Vito climb gives the riders a taste of what’s to come in the finale. It’s a short, sharp ascent, with the road ramping up at 10% over just 1.4 kilometers. Right after the initial pass at the finish line, they’ll face the Colle della Maddalena, another tough climb – 6.1 kilometers at 7.4%.

Following a 12 kilometres descent, the intermediate sprint for bonus seconds lays waiting. Will the contenders for the overall win go for it, or will they leave it to the breakaway and save energy? Not unlikely. Just 6 kilometers later, it’s back to the San Vito – still 1.4 kilometres long and sloping at a brutal 10% gradient. The riders reach the summit with 2.9 kilometres to go to the finish line. The finale is on descent.

While a breakaway rider could always steal the show, it’s more likely that the GC contenders will assert themselves. And in that scenario, Pogacar is the one to watch. He’s explosive, which will come in handy on the San Vito climb. And also if it comes down to a sprint from a small group in the streets of Turin.

Favourites 1st stage 2024 Giro d’Italia

*** Tadej Pogacar, Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet
** Maximilian Schachmann, Christophe Laporte, Andrea Bagioli
* Biniam Girmay, Matteo Trentin, Mauri Vansevenant, Quinten Hermans

Another interesting read: route 1st stage 2024 Giro.

Giro d’Italia 2024 stage 1: profiles & finale route

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