Giro d’Italia 2024 – Stage 2

I told you it would be tough. Pogacar was as strong as expected, his team wasn’t. Narvaez had a fantastic day on the bike and if you can follow Pogacar on a climb, you almost deserve a prize just for that. Narvaez got the ultimate one, the Maglia Rosa.


A very flat start before the climbing commences. Oasi Zegna and Nelva are not very difficult. I do think Santaurio di Oropa is difficult enough for smaller gaps, just like the ones we saw today.

A stage that takes place in the Piemonte region. The stage ends near the foot of the Alps.

Santaurio di Oropa

Last used in Gran Piemonte 2019 with Nelva being the penultimate climb to. So there you have a reference point. It saw Bernal winning and looking at it, the climbers have an advantage but a strong puncheur can do wonders here too. It is only a short portion of the climb that is very difficult.

You can call it the middle section (6.3 km – 1.8 km), with a 4800m at 8.5% average. Positioning near the end will be important with many corners inside the final kilometer. In 2019, Bernal did it in 31:13 minutes for the entire climb in 2019.

Here you have the main section, the hard one. It was used back in 2017 in the Giro d’Italia. Dumoulin won that day with attacks from Quintana, while Zakarin and Landa was part of the elite group of four. The tough part including the short 1800m after to the finish takes 18:00 minutes for the best. Perhaps a tad longer.


A lovely day for a spin.

How will the stage unfold?

INEOS in the leaders jersey and UAE need to have a team talk. The Empire Stroke Back today with Narvaez taking a very important win for him and the team. It boosts morale. I will honestly say this, he won’t have the jersey tomorrow. Either they decide to give it to the breakaway or UAE will take it from him. It is a stage that is too tough for him. My best guess, don’t even bother trying to keep it. It is not worth the sacrifice you make for G. Thomas in the last week. He got his shot, he took it and hit the nail on the head.

UAE have three riders who looked good; Pogacar, Majka and Bjerg. Grossschartner and Novak(?) didn’t. So time to change the order. I think it is clear for many that Mikkel Montana has taken a big step this year in terms of climbing and he should be the penultimate rider for Pogacar. I think Pogacar wants revenge and the jersey. Honestly, it is not worth it. You want it in Rome and with three weeks to go, leave it for the breakaway.

So there you have it. A breakaway will fight for the stage and the Maglia Rosa. It is a flat start and that means a versatile rider will stand a good chance and a pure climber will hope his one attempt will bring him glory.


Arensman – I hope I’m not starting to sound delusional but I think the best defense tomorrow is to attack. Arensman lost time today and he should pose as a potential dual captain with G. Thomas. Send him up the road and test the UAE team, it also forces you not to work all day for nothing. A win-win.

A. Paret-Peintre – he has been very good this season. I think the performance in Tour of the Alps and Liege-Bastogne-Liege are a clear indication that his is at his very peak level. In 2023, he took the stage win but not the jersey. I think he is out for that jersey. It also ties him to O’Connor for the rest of the race, knowing he got his own chance. It is about balance and keeping everyone happy and it isn’t a fantastic stage for their Australian leader.

Simon Carr – he should have been selected last year because he would have won a stage. This year, he is. I am huge fan of him, he tends to deliver fantastic results when he is allowed to go for it. Winner of the toughest stage in Tour of the Alps is a clear sign that he is ready to look for a stage win.

Mauri Vansevenant – he was good today, the sniper’s worst nightmare. And he was racing fantasticly in the Ardennes. This is the type of finale that suits him well, as the final climb isn’t too long but it is fairly steep. He should be able to get away on the flat.

Zana – Plapp didn’t look very good today. Dunbar hasn’t really had the high level yet from 2023. I think it would be fair to give Zana the chance. He took a stage last year and he is a fantastic stage hunter in all terrains.

Storer – just suits him well. He wasn’t far off in Tour of the Alps, showing he still got a bit of the Vuelta 2021 magic left in him. He has the engine for the flat start too.

Pogacar – he will take the jersey if the other teams will not create a strong enough breakaway.

Thomas – he is consistent enough to be right up there.

Martinez – a punchy finish is good for him.

Tiberi – I enjoyed seeing him being the first around the last corner in the chasing group. It is a good sign.

Who will win?

I favor the break. I will go for form. A. Paret-Peintre for jersey and stage.

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