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The Jerseys, the situation after 15 stages


Once again this week we had plenty of fun, and enjoyed some of the best emotions this sport has to offer. From the touching return to success of Julian Alaphilippe and Filippo Ganna to the sheer domination of King Tadej Pogačar, via the powerful sprints of Jonathan Milan and the summit-finish victory of Valentin Paret-Peintre, one year after his brother Aurelién. We can already draw quite a few conclusions but, as we all know too well, the last week of the Giro d’Italia are perhaps the 6 most unpredictable days in the calendar. It will be a battle to the last kilometre.

Maglia Rosa

Compared to a week ago, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has almost tripled his advantage in the general classification over the second placed rider, who is currently Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers). 6’41” is the widest gap between first and second, on stage 15, since 1954. A clear, fierce domination, which the Slovenian will more than likely try to further magnify in this final week. With such an advantage, even a bad day could be managed without too many worries. Thus, the most important thing for Tadej will be to stay out of trouble.

The fight for the podium, on the other hand, is still wide open, with Thomas and Daniel Martinez (Bora-hansgrohe) seeming to be the biggest candidates to fill the last two steps of the podium. The gaps between the two, so far, have been dictated by time trials and time bonuses, while on the climbs it has been a good head-to-head. The second position will be played out on the details, but beware of underestimating the riders slightly further back in the standings. With such an advantage in the GC, Pogačar can afford to let even Top 10 riders break away without worrying too much, meaning it will be up to Thomas and Martinez to keep their opponents under control.

Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) is not far behind the two, has a team in a state of grace on his side and will try everything to make it onto the final podium. Let’s also keep an eye on Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich PostNL) and Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers), who seem to be on the rise, as well as Einer Rubio (Movistar) and Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious), who are unlikely to settle for their current position in the general classification.

Maglia Ciclamino

With his victories in Francavilla al Mare and Cento, Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) has put an almost definitive seal on the Maglia Ciclamino. With 284 points to the 175 of the first, and by now only, chaser Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), the giant from Friuli can sleep quite peacefully.

There are still two chances left for the sprinters, Padua and Rome, which make the current gap almost unbridgeable. Milan’s biggest worry might therefore be the mountains, as several will be tackled this week. So far, Lidl-Trek’s mighty sprinter has shown he can handle himself well even when the road gets steeper. Still, It will be crucial for any sprinter not to have bad days and risk finishing out of time.

Maglia Azzurra

This is the other jersey which seems to be nailed on Tadej Pogačar’s shoulders. The points gained on the Passo del Foscagno and Mottolino have propelled the Slovenian to 172 points, almost 100 more than Simon Geschke (Cofidis), second on 78 points. More than 370 points are still up for grabs, which means there is room to try and get closer to the Slovenian, but the problem for all pretenders is that Pogačar will most likely be looking to win at least one more mountain stage, hence more KOM points for him.

In any case, Geschke will probably go for it until the end, joined by other riders such as the aggressive Christian Scaroni (Astana Qazaqstan), 64 points, Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), 55 points, Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost), 42 points, and Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), 32 points. Let’s also watch out for Nairo Quintana (Movistar), third at 65 points, who seemed almost reborn on the slopes of the Mottolino.

Maglia Bianca

Having lost Cian Uijtdebroeks to a virus, the fight for the leadership symbol reserved for riders born after 1 January 1999 remains open. At least three athletes are involved: Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious) is the current leader of the classification, but the small debacle he had on the way up to Mottolino is confirmation that everything is yet to be decided.

The rider from Lazio hopes it was just a bad day, as behind him is Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers), only 19 seconds away and clearly on the rise. For Ineos, the Dutchman could also be an interesting tactical weapon in view of Geraint Thomas’s podium finish. Also still in contention is Filippo Zana (Jayco AlUla), 1’45” behind Tiberi. His third week last year was good to say the least, so be careful not to underestimate this rider from Vicenza.

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