We had been waiting for it, we had been longing for it: the first thrilling day of high-mountain action, the moment when the GC men would finally challenge each other face to face has finally arrived. This explosion seemed never to come, and that might be the reason why today’s ascent towards legendary Monte Bondone seemed even more splendid. The Giro d’Italia 2023 is finally on fire, the great captains have left their mark, and we have figured out a little more about the hierarchies of this Corsa Rosa.
Today’s setting, as all bike lovers know, is a recurrent one in cycling history books: Monte Bondone is one of those climbs capable of turning a mere good rider into a myth of this sport. We do not know yet if today’s ascent will go down in history, but it certainly represents the first real watershed of the 106th edition of the Giro. This might well be the start of a new step in João Almeida’s career, a more attacking, more winning rider, ready to sell his skin dearly to bring home the Maglia Rosa, which he wore for 15 days in 2020 by the way. Or maybe it’s the day Geraint Thomas realised that, after winning the 2018 Tour de France, he can also take the Giro d’Italia, emulating former teammate Chris Froome, the only Briton ever to do so.