The 2019 Giro d’Italia begins in Bologna on Saturday with an 8.2km individual time trial stage before finishing in Verona on June 2.
Here we look at the five main favourites for overall victory.
Who do you think will win this year’s Giro?
PRIMOZ ROGLIC (Slovenia)
It’s hard to argue whether there is a better rider in the world on form than Roglic at the moment. The Slovenian clinched a stunning victory at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday, winning three of the six stages in Switzerland. It was a dominant display from Roglic and the perfect lead in to the first Grand Tour of the year. His victory in Romandie continues a sizzling run of results this season which has seen the 29-year-old secure victories at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico.
TOM DUMOULIN (Netherlands)
Team: Team Sunweb
The Dutchman showed his class when finishing second in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France last year. Although it is still early in the season and his programme is more geared towards the Tour in July, his form has been mixed, finishing sixth at the UAE Tour and fourth at Tirreno-Adriatico. Confidence and ability is never an issue with Dumoulin but 2019 needs to be the year where he steps up another level again. The volume and severity of the climbs in Italy makes him the best outside Roglic to contend overall.
SIMON YATES (England)
The Englishman won three stages and wore the pink jersey for over two weeks at the Giro last year, but he lost the overall lead on stage 19 and ended up finishing a disappointing 21st overall. Now, looking close to his best again, the 26-year-old comes into the Giro with stage wins at Paris-Nice and the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol. Yates will want to redeem himself after last year’s meltdown and 2019 presents another opportunity to fight for a maiden podium spot in Italy.
VINCENZO NIBALI (Italy)
The 2013 and 2016 champion still believes he has what it takes to join the illustrious three-time winners’ club. His confidence is high after finishing third at the Tour of the Alps in April and eighth at Milan San-Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. At 34, he needs to stretch those racing legs again and show he still has the pace, power and race-craft that has seen him widely regarded as one of the best riders of the past decade.
BOB JUNGELS (Luxembourg)
Team: Deceuninck-Quick Step
The Rollingen native is one of Deceuninck-Quick Step’s most instrumental classic riders, winning the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne in March, finishing third at Dwars door Vlaanderen and fifth in E3 BinckBank Classic this season. He also took victory on stage four of the Tour of Colombia and finished eighth overall at Paris-Nice. The strongman from Luxembourg wore the maglia rosa briefly during the 2016 edition of the Giro and went on to seal sixth. Can he get close to pink again with more experience and miles under his belt?
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