There are only 10 days before the Giro d’Italia Big Start takes place in Israel – just the 13th time in the Corsa Rosa’s history that the race has begun outside the Italian border. The race, organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, will begin with an Individual Time Trial on Friday 4 May in Jerusalem, Israel, and finish in Rome, Italy, on Sunday 27 May.
THE 12 GIRO D’ITALIA STARTS ABROAD
PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST
GC contenders to watch out for at the 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa are:
TOM DUMOULIN (NED – TEAM SUNWEB)
Thanks to the Big Start in his homeland (Apeldoorn, The Netherlands) in 2016, Tom Dumoulin discovered the Giro d’Italia and fell in love with the Maglia Rosa he wore for six days, so he returned with the aim of winning the race overall last year and became the first-ever Dutchman to do so despite being hampered by gastric troubles before tackling the Stelvio. He’s back with the pressure of defending his title.
CHRIS FROOME (GBR – TEAM SKY)
During its first eight years of existence that’s included five overall victories in the Tour de France, Team Sky has made the final podium only once at the Giro d’Italia (with Rigoberto Urán second in 2013). The ambitions of the British team are higher this time with Chris Froome hunting for the triple crown. Nobody has won the Tour, La Vuelta and the Giro in a row within one year since Bernard Hinault thirty-five years ago.
FABIO ARU (ITA – UAE TEAM EMIRATES)
Having missed the past two editions of the Giro d’Italia, including last year’s Big Start in Sardinia where he hails from due to injury, Fabio Aru resumes his unfinished business as he made the final podium on two occasions (third in 2014, second in 2015) but is yet to bring the Maglia Rosa home. His move to UAE Team Emirates is part of his plan to win the Giro d’Italia after he won the Vuelta a España – his sole GrandTour win – in 2015.
THIBAUT PINOT (FRA – GROUPAMA – FDJ)
fourth overall and stage 20 winner last year, Thibaut Pinot will present himself on the start line of his second Giro d’Italia having won the Tour of the Alps, which is considered the meaningful warm-up for the Corsa Rosa. The Frenchman has trained in cross-country skiing and lightened his race program in the early part of the season in order to hit top form for the Grand Tours. He’s fascinated by the Zoncolan and the seven other summit finishes.
ESTEBAN CHAVES (COL – MITCHELTON – SCOTT)
Following a disappointing 2017 season plagued by tendonitis and mourning, the runner-up of the 2016 Giro d’Italia makes a highly anticipated return to the race he loves since he wore the Maglia Rosa with two days to go two years ago. Since winning the Herald Sun Tour in February in Australia, the country of his Mitchelton – Scott team, Chaves has seriously prepared in Colombia for a very mountainous Giro that suits him on paper.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL LÓPEZ (COL – ASTANA PRO TEAM)
“Superman” López is the new blood injected among the Grand Tours GC contenders. At the age of 24, the third Colombian to have won the Tour de l’Avenir in recent years (in 2014, after Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves) has only completed one three-week race: the 2017 Vuelta a España, in eighth place overall with two stage wins. He’s not only the super favourite for the Maglia Bianca but also the climber with the greatest capacity to threaten the established champions.
These are the 22 teams at the start, each made of eight riders, with their main entries:
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 18 (eligible)
UCI PROFESSIONAL CONTINENTAL TEAMS – 4 wild cards