Today we introduce some of the potential protagonists at the Giro 100 who will try to fight for one or more stage wins of this historic edition with solo attacks, long distance breakaways and finisseur efforts: here are the stage hunters.
Stage hunters will have many opportunities along the route that will take the Carovana Rosa from the start of the first stage in Alghero to the finish line in Milan. On stage 2, from Olbia to Tortolì in Sardinia the route has many ups and downs that could be the launch pad for the bravest wheels.
Another interesting day is stage 6, from Reggio Calabria to Terme Luigiane, where the last 2km climb averages a 5.3% gradient, hitting slopes of 5 to 10% in the final km. Here, stage hunters might be able to get away from the sprinters.
Stage 8, from Molfetta to Peschici, could also provide an interesting opportunity for the riders with good legs and the right touch of bravery to escape from the peloton. In the last week of the race, stage 17 from Tirano to Canazei features the Aprica, Tonale and Giovo climbs, which may be fertile ground for long breakaway attempt by the stages hunters.
Some of the stages hunters to watch out for at the Rose Race are:
Rui Costa (POR – UAE Team Emirates). After participating in eight consecutive Tours de France without starting any other Grand Tour. > READ THE INTERVIEW
Filippo Pozzato (ITA – Wilier Triestina). Finishing eighth in the Tour of Flanders, the Italian shows no decline in either motivation and competitiveness at the age of 35. Pozzato wants to celebrate the Giro 100 in flamboyant style by winning a stage, as he last managed to do in 2010 in Porto Recanati. > READ THE INTERVIEW
Adam Hansen (AUS – Lotto-Soudal). The Australian has raced and completed all three Grand Tours – sixteen in total – since the 2011 Vuelta a España, making him a record holder for many years to come. Hansen’s aim for 2017 is winning a stage at the Giro as he did in Pescara in 2013.
Adam Hansen said: “I am very excited on the eve of this Giro. I have done countless Giros but to me it feels I am more excited than any other riders who will be at the start, not only because this is the 100th edition of the Giro, but just because it is the Giro!
“I feel I am in the best shape of the last three years, and my objective is to try to win a stage, maybe going in the break. The team’s main aim is to win a stage with André [Greipel], but in other stages we have riders that can go in the break and try to win. I hope our team will be active in most of the stages, as that gives us more chances to win one or more.”
Enrico Battaglin (ITA – Team Lotto NL-Jumbo). Having already won two stages at the Giro – in 2013 and 2014 – Battaglin, a complete rider, will try to support his captain Steven Kruijswijk in winning the GC, while at the same time trying to find space to win a stage. One potential opportunity for victory is in the very same finale in Oropa where the Italian won three years ago. Enrico Battaglin said: “Our team goes to the Giro to win it. We know our strength as we showed it last year – we want the Maglia Rosa. Anyway I believe there will be space for us to attack and try to win stages, if the team will allow me, either from breakaways or contesting some finales. I’ve seen very interesting stages since the early days and it seems there’s a lot of room to create attacks
Davide Formolo (ITA – Cannondale-Drapac). Stage 4 in the 2015 Giro d’Italia was his first – and only – pro victory to date, but his physical maturation gives his fans hope of more to follow. Aged 24, Cannondale-Drapac’s young Italian is the kind of talent who could break away from a star studded peloton in hilly or mountainous stages.