Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 1 Preview

By David Hunter

San Lorenzo – Mare Sanremo 17.6km TTT


The opening stage of the Giro is upon us, and like last year, it’s a TTT.

Most of the stage is completed on a narrow cycle path, so it’s vital to have an organised team. The 2014 TTT was won by Orica and they start the stage as overwhelming favourites.

Orica arrive with 8 big engines: Matthews, Bewley, Clarke, Durbridge, Gerrans, Hepburn, Lancaster and Weening. Their only weak link is Esteban Chaves. The Colombian is their GC rider, so they need to protect him and ensure he doesn’t lose contact. They are missing Svein Tuft, but it still features half of the 2014 World Championship squad. The route is made for riders who can achieve a large amount of watts and they have quite a few. Orica are going to be hard to beat.

Etixx would normally be mentioned as equals to Orica, but they look weaker than usual. They have Uran, Boonen, Bouet, Meersman, De la Cruz, Keisse, Sabatini, Serry and Vakoc. Yes they are missing Tony Martin, but this still contains Boonen and Serry, two stalwarts of the discipline. This team is still capable of a big result and Uran needs to make as much time as possible on his GC rivals. I think they could still push Orica all the way.

Next up are the GC teams of Sky and Tinkoff. Team Sky have Porte, Seb Henao, Kiryienka, Konig, Eisel, Nieve, Puccio, Siutsou and Viviani. Despite being focused on the mountains, they do have the considerable power of Porte, Kiri, Eisel and Siutsou. Team Sky are probably going to podium and could even take out the top spot. They are fresh from winning the Romandie TTT but only Viviani was in that squad. 5 of the team, finished 2nd in the Trentino TTT, behind Bora-Argon. For me, they have too many climbers to win this stage.

Tinkoff-Saxo have Contador, Basso, Boaro, Juul-Jensen, Tosatto, Paulinho, Kreuziger, Rogers and Rovny. This is a workman like team. They don’t possess an outstanding TT rider, so it’s going to be difficult to win the stage, or even finish in the top 3. In the 2014 Vuelta TTT, they finished 7th, with 4 of the same riders(Contador, Tosatto, Paulinho and Rovny). This isn’t a strong TTT outfit.

The World Champions are here, in BMC, but they only have one of that team with them: Sylvain Dillier. With him is Gilbert, Atapuma, Bookwalter, Burghardt, Caruso, Kung, Moinard and Zabel. This doesn’t strike me as a great TTT team. They were 6th in the Romandie TTT after screwing up the last climb. A top 5 performance should still be achievable, but I think they might disappoint.

Trek used to be the dominant force in TTTs but their crown has slipped in recent years. I like the look of their squad, full of fast men with a purpose. They have Nizzolo, Coledane, Felline, Alafaci, Beppu, Silvestre, Van Poppel, Watson and Vandewalle. They were a very disappointing 12th in Romandie, featuring 7 of these riders. They really should be targeting the top 5, and the Romandie test should help them here, considering they keep most of the team together.

Movistar can win TTTs but only in Spain. They don’t travel well and despite having a strong looking squad, expect them to finish between 5th and 10th.

Both FDJ and Katusha continue to improve, in this discipline. Katusha are packed full of Russian talent, who have big engines. They will be wanting to follow up their 3rd place in Romandie with another impressive performance here. I don’t think any of us will be surprised by Katusha anymore! FDJ will struggle to make an impact in this stage.

Astana went close in Trentino, despite have one less rider. With Aru, Cataldo and Kangert they have strong riders but lack the depth of the other challengers. A top 5 result would be good for them.

IAM, Southeast and CCC will have happy to settle for a top 10 perforamance.

Of the other teams Giant and Cannondale-Garmin are capable of posting a good time but not a winning time.

Prediction Time

It should be a win for Orica. They have the strongest team, as long as we get equal weather for all.

¿Quién ganará el Giro de Italia?

  • Rigoberto Urán (43%, 1,740 Votos)
  • Alberto Contador (39%, 1,553 Votos)
  • Fabio Aru (7%, 277 Votos)
  • Richie Porte (6%, 227 Votos)
  • Otro (4%, 166 Votos)
  • Domenico Pozzovivo (1%, 22 Votos)
  • Damiano Cunego (0%, 19 Votos)
  • Ryder Hesjedal (0%, 14 Votos)

Votantes: 4,018

Loading ... Loading ...

David Hunter

Follow us on @CiclismoInter

Join us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

Copyright © 2015 Ciclismo Internacional. All Rights Reserved

Facebook IconTwitter IconMi BlogMi Blog
%d bloggers like this: