2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 2 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The opening stage of the Giro d’Italia was as expected the stage of a thrilling finale, as a bunch sprint saw Mathieu van der Poel become the first leader of the race. The Dutchman had the top power in the final sprint, beating Biniam Girmay to the line as Caleb Ewan crashed in sight of the line. Pello Bilbao finished third, as small splits were seen behind. 

Positive: Van der Poel fulfilling his goal, and taking the stage win he had been ambitioning. 

Negative: Ewan crashing in sight of the line, although the win seemed to be out of reach. Small splits happened, but in the bigger picture it will be meaningless seconds surely. 

The Route

A time-trial will mark the second day of racing. Budapest will host the start and finish of this one, a small individual challenge with only 9.3 kilometers. Whilst the profile doesn’t reveal it, the map shows that despite having the first 8.1 kilometers pan-flat, they are very technical. 

There won’t be an easy run-up to the final ascent, there are plenty corners where risks will make a difference, and will not allow the riders to get in a constant rhythm. To manage this and the final ascent will be a very tricky situation.

It’s not a hard ascent, but will definitely be a decisive effort as the gaps won’t be big at the bottom. 1.3Km at 4.9%, sharp at the bottom, and then it’s a matter of sustaining a high power output until the finale, the climb gets shallower as it moves further.

The Weather

Warm temperatures, and a small breeze from the southeast, but it shouldn’t have any influence on the stage. 

The Favourites

Tom Dumoulin – It would be a very emotional and special win for Dumoulin. He hasn’t, to me, proved his return in the mountains, however his time-trialing has seemed quite good since returning to the peloton. Jumbo-Visma have obviously done a great work on the TT bikes, so they will be ones to eye.

Edoardo Affini – Affini is in the same situation, being a pure time-trialist. He’s got the Jumbo benefit, however he’s the only world-class pure time-trialist in the start, and there is the chance he’ll benefit in those flat kilometers – adding to a pink jersey in his home Grand Tour, which should see him take big risks.

Mathieu van der Poel – After finishing fifth at the Tour de France TT last year, I have no idea that van der Poel can race incredibly well against the clock. With a very explosive time-trial and a steep hilltop finish, this almost seems like an ideal course for the race leader, who will be extra motivated by having a pink jersey to defend. 

The list of contenders though will be quite big, and this includes riders that are capable of winning the time-trial – and possibly jumping onto the lead of the race. The TT is very technical, and it is not in any way suited to the specialists. Besides, many of the best time-trialists have steered clear of the Giro.

On the side of those who may benefit from their past results in the TT’s, riders like Matteo Sobrero, Tobias Ludvigsson, Lawson Craddock and Alex Dowsett are all riders to consider. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the likes of Simon Yates, Richard Carapaz, Richie Porte, Thymen Arensman, Tobias Foss, João Almeida and Pello Bilbao can all contest for the stage win with no doubt, and seriously open up the GC fight if today wasn’t already a good indicator. 

The likes of Jan Tratnik, Magnus Cort Nielsen and Mattias Skjelmose will be some wildcards, the Slovenian crashed today, however all three (despite not fitting in any of the specificities above) can with no doubt come out on the top on a good day.

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to…

#126 Lorenzo Rota – Don’t take too many risks as the stage isn’t crucial for you, however don’t be afraid to dig deep in the final climb. Stay within contention, you never know if we can have a pink jersey in the next few days. 

#71 Guillaume Martin – No big risks Guillaume, but it’s necessary to give it your all. The gaps won’t be big, but we have to limit the losses as much as possible so it’s crucial that you stay as close to the GC riders as possible. 

#195 Alberto Dainese – Nothing to worry about here Alberto, the sprints are coming and today is all about making it safe over the course. 

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Van der Poel, Affini, Cort Nielsen

⭐⭐Dumoulin, Foss, Arensman, Bilbao, Foss

⭐Sobrero, Craddock, Porte, Almeida, Tratnik, Skjelmose 

I won’t be conservative. Van der Poel has the form and is the most explosive rider on the startlist, with the lack of true specialists and a course that will have constant accelerations and a hard hilltop finish, I think he will win again tomorrow. 

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Tomorrow’s race has prizes of at least €800 and an entry fee of only €5. Make good use of your knowledge!


Rúben Silva

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5 thoughts on “2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 2 Preview

  1. Starting well the predictions this year… I like your analysis but the predictions are very poor :)

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