Giro Del Trentino-Melinda 2015 Overall Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro Del Trentino-Melinda 2015 Overall Preview

By David Hunter

One of my favourite races of the year! This year, we have 4 stages: 1 TTT, 2 mountain stages and 1 “flat” stage. This is a race for good climbers, sprinters should go home.

trentinottt

 

The opening stage is a 13km TTT. The opening half is nice and easy, but the closing half will test the formation of each team.

trentinottta

The profile is nice and flat. Despite the short distance, we could see 30 seconds between some of the teams.

trentino1

Stage 2 is the hardest day of the race. It features the only HC climb of the week, which is 12.4km at 8.4%. A small peloton will crest this climb and the race finishes with a 5km climb, which is easy and difficult! It has a 1km stretch at 13%. This is the day where the GC will probably be settled.

trentino2

Stage 3 is another hard day. The race concludes with a cat 1 climb, 5km at 9%, and a cat 2 climb that is 8km at 6.8%, with sections of over 10%. This is another day where you can lose the race.

trentino3

The final stage is fairly easy but has a tricky finish. The climb is unclassified but has an 11% maximum. The “sprinters” will pray that they have at least one chance of a stage win! With the Giro d’Italia just weeks away, we get a chance to watch some of the big names battle it out. We have Richie Porte, Domenico Pozzovivo and Franco Pellizotti. Throw in Louis Meintjes, Edoardo Zardini, Francesco Bongiorno, Ryder Hesjedal and Fabio Duarte and you can see we’re in for a treat! For the Giro boys, this is ideal preparation. One slight issue is that the winner of this race, rarely goes on to win the Giro. It’s very difficult to be on top form here and hold it of another 6 weeks, something that Vincenzo Nibali did manage to do in 2013. It’s not impossible but you have to be one hell of a rider to do so.

Richie Porte is the number one favourite for the race. He’s had a stellar season so far, with wins in the Paris-Nice and Catalunya. He was also 2nd in the TDU and 4th in the Algarve. This is his best season in the professional ranks. This type of season is reminiscent of Froome in 2013 and Wiggins in 2012. When Sky get a rider on form, they usually win everything in front of them. His team isn’t as strong as usual: Nieve, Seb Henao, Konig, Lopez, Boswell, Siutsou and Zandio. Not a weak team, workmanlike is probably a fair opinion of them.

Fabio Aru was the second favourite, but withdrew today with stomach problems. That opens up the team leadership role and should be filled by Mikel Landa. He won the Queen stage last year and recently took the amazing win in Pais Vasco. Despite having one less rider, Astana arrive with a strong team: Cataldo, Kangert, Landa, Malacarne, Rosa, Tiralongo and Zeits. Having one less is a disadvantage for the TTT but with some big engines they might still get close or even gain time on Sky.

The next contender is Domenico Pozzovivo. He won the race in 2012 and was 2nd in 2014. He certainly likes this race and has another good chance of making the podium. AG2R are notoriously poor in TTTs but they send Gretsch, Peraud and Houle to try and limit their losses. They lost 34 seconds to BMC in 2014 and he lost the GC by 50 seconds, to Cadel Evans. They must perform better, if he’s to challenge Porte and Aru. Most of the other riders will also hope to limit losses in the TTT and then try to make up time in stages 2 and 3. Having Peraud and Bardet will be a massive help. However, they don’t often ride together and I’m not sure how the French and Italian sections of the team will get on.

4th and 5th from 2014 are back. Both Duarte and Meintjes will look to get a repeat performance but will struggle to make the podium, thanks to the presence of the big 3 riders. Bardiani will hope that their change of planning will result in some success. Instead of trying to maintain a long peak, they set their sights on peaking for the Giro. After altitude training, it will be interesting to see what we get from Bongiorno and Zardini. Both are very talented climbers and are close to making a big brake through.

Colombia don’t just have Duarte, they also have Rodolfo Torres. The Colombian has enjoyed a great season and was very close to a huge win today, in Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, but punctured when leading the race. Like all “second” riders, he could benefit from the main riders playing an overly tactical game. He will lose time in the TTT but has a very good chance of a top 5 result. Stage 2 will determine who leads the team, him or Duarte.

It was back in 2012, when Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro. Since then, he’s struggled to challenge for big races. Last year, he won a stage in the Vuelta and was a massive help for Dan Martin. There are signs, that the Canadian, is ready to move back up a level. A short race like this is ideal, but he’ll have to hang tough on stage 2.

Other riders capable of making an impact are: Cunego, Pellizotti, Monsalve, Finetto, Konrad, Nerz, Arroyo and Pardilla.

Caja-Rural arrive with Arroyo. The team just won their first race in 2015 and are full of confidence. The every attacking, Amets Txurruka, also brings some panache to the race. The team won the KOM jersey, in Pais Vasco, and will look to win the jersey here. Hugh Carthy, is starting to show his potential. His weight is down and his legs are getting better every race, don’t underestimate him.

Prediction Time

Has to be Porte, doesn’t it?

David HunterFollow us in facebook https://www.facebook.com/CiclismoInternacionalLatinoamerica?fref=ts …

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