tuesday 14 May 2024 at 01h57

As you've seen, velowire.com is dressed in a touch of pink, in honor of the Giro d'Italia, as pink is the official color of the Tour of Italy or la corsa rosa.

It seems like an eternity ago, but the Giro d'Italia 2024 started in Venaria Reale only 9 days ago, and so it was on Monday that the riders enjoyed their first rest day in Pompei, where they will set off on Tuesday May 14 for stage 10, heading for the summit finish at Cusano Mutri.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has already shown himself to be the absolute leader of this 107th Giro d'Italia!

I promise we won't mention the Slovenian rider's pink/cyclamen combi 😄 (after wearing black shorts for a few days, he's now wearing all-pink shorts!)

The first 9 stages: 3 wins already for Tadej Pogačar!

For the moment, the Slovenian rider who seems to have everything going for him at the moment has already won a third of the stages, after his 3rd place in stage 1. Let's take a look at the 9 stages of this first week (with 2 weekends) of the Giro d'Italia 2024:

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Saturday May 04, 2024 - 1/ Venaria Reale > Torino - 140 km

After a magnificent start from the Giardini della Reggia in Venaria Reale, a breakaway of 6 riders was formed, including several names that we were to see again and again throughout the week: for example, Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Wanty), who took the first blue jersey as leader of the king of the mountains classification and showed himself in the breakaway on several occasions, even though he lost the blue jersey the very next day to the ... Slovenian Tadej Pogačar!

Andrea Pietrobon also showed up several times for Team Polti Kometa, but the group of 6 never had much more than a 2'30" lead over the peloton, which was controlled by the Slovenian's team, UAE Team Emirates. With just over 60 km to go, on the descent from Superga, Erithrean Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Lidl-Trek) continued the push he'd initiated to take first place at the summit, joined by Lilian Calmejane, and at the first crossing of the finish line this duo was still in the lead. On the ascent to Colle Maddalena, Calmejane took off on his own to take the lead and the maximum number of points, so as to be able to wear blue at the end of the stage!

The peloton was already very close and the regrouping was about to take place... But on the last climb before the finish, the San Vito climb, Pogačar attacked and picked off these riders one by one, followed in the wheel by Jhonatan Narvaez (INEOS Grenadiers), and it was the latter who finally played the most tactical game ... to take victory in this first stage, ahead of Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Pogačar.

sunday, may 05, 2024 - 2/ San Francesco Al Campo > Santuario di Oropa (Biella) - 161 km

Right from the start of this second stage, a group of Italian riders broke away from the peloton, including Filippo Fiorelli (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), holder of the cyclamen jersey in the points classification, for which he was neither the leader nor even second. Third in the standings, the Italian rider took advantage of the breakaway to collect further points, thus securing the cyclamen jersey at the end of the stage, this time as leader of the points classification. In the end, however, it was Andrea Piccolo (EF Education First-EasyPost) who broke away solo, to take points in the best climber classification. At the foot of the final climb to the Santuario di Oropa in Biella, Piccolo had a lead of over 1'30" over the peloton when Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) crashed, due to a puncture on his front wheel. But thanks to his team, the Slovenian rider didn't have to worry, and was brought back to the peloton, which had meanwhile closed in on Piccolo under the impetus of the INEOS Grenadiers team.

Once Piccolo had been caught, Pogačar attacked, followed by Ben O'Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), but the Slovenian rider soon went off on his own, and this time no one was able to stop him from taking the stage victory, 27 seconds ahead of Daniel Martinez (BORA-hansgrohe), and he took the overall leader's pink jersey right from stage 2!

Monday May 06, 2024 - 3/ Novara > Fossano - 166 km

Stage 3 was finally promised to the sprinters, and the first half of the stage gave the impression that no rider was really interested in it... it was only on the climb to Lu that we saw Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Wanty) interested in the points for the best climber classification, which he had lost to Tadej Pogačar on day 2.

After a general regrouping, a group of 24 sprinters broke away at the Masio (Abbazia) sprint, to stay ahead until the Intergiro sprint of Montegrosso d'Asti, both sprints being won by Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) ... A regrouping later, it was on the climb a few kilometers before the finish that Mikkel Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost) showed himself at the front, forcing Tadej Pogačar to follow, then also Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers).

The sprinter teams then had to fight hard to catch up with the leading trio, and Pogačar almost took the win again. At the last moment, however, the sprinters were able to use their legs, and while Jonathan Milan was well on his way to winning the sprint, it was Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) who finally proved to be the fastest!

Tuesday, May 07, 2024 - 4/ Acqui Terme > Andora - 190 km

With Capo Mele just before the finish line, the sprint finish seemed less guaranteed on this 4th stage, which saw a small group take off almost from the start, initially with Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) who was eventually caught, but also again with Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Wanty), who added points for the best climber classification, in the fog at the top of Colle del Melogno.

In the end, it was with less than 5 kilometers to go that the last survivors of the day's breakaway were finally caught, and it was at the foot of Capo Mele that Filippo Ganna attacked again, with 4 kilometers to go, only to be caught again after the flamme rouge had passed, and in the end it was a sprint that decided this stage. While Christophe Laporte (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) was the first to launch the sprint, the French rider and European Champion finally brought his effort to a complete halt, and it was Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) who finally got his revenge for the previous day's stage, by winning this 4th stage, ahead of Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious).

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wednesday, may 08, 2024 - 5/ Genova > Lucca - 178 km

A front four comprising Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ), Davide Bais (Team Polti Kometa) and Manuele Tarozzi (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) managed to break away fairly quickly in this 5th stage, but on the descent of the first climb, the Passo del Bracco, they were caught by the peloton under the impetus of the Alpecin-Deceuninck team.

With 74 kilometers to go, a new leading group was formed, including Andrea Pietrobon (Team Polti Kometa), Enzo Paleni (Groupama-FDJ), Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) and Michael Valgren (EF Education-Easypost), and in the last kilometer this four-man group still had a lead of several dozen seconds over the peloton. Pietrobon was then the first to attack, taking a real lead over the other 3 riders in the lead group. It wasn't until 50 meters from the finish that Valgren and Thomas managed to pass the Italian rider, and in the end it was Benjamin Thomas who took his first WorldTour stage victory!

Thursday May 09, 2024 - 6/ Viareggio > Rapolano Terme - 180 km

Stage 6 was the one everyone was looking forward to, and even afraid of, with 3 dirt roads, 2 of which are usually part of the Strade Bianche program. Several attacks or attempted attacks followed the start of the stage, but with the nervousness of the different teams, it was only on the climb to Volterra, after around 75 km of racing, that a group finally broke away. This group included Julian Alaphilippe, Filippo Fiorelli (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and Luke Plapp (Team Jayco AlUla), and in the end a group of no less than 7 riders formed and set off up the first dirt road.

Plapp attacked on the second dirt road, followed by Alaphilippe and Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar Team), and at the entrance to the final dirt road this leading trio was still together, 1'30" ahead of the chasing group, their former breakaway companions, and 2 minutes ahead of the peloton. On the climb to Serre di Rapolono, just before the finish, Julian Alaphilippe tried to break away, but neither Sanchez nor Plapp had any intention of letting the Frenchman go!

Alaphilippe tried again as the trio approached the finish line, but in the end it was Pelayo Sanchez who passed him again, to take the stage victory.

Friday, May 10, 2024 - 7/ Foligno > Perugia (ITT) - 40.6 km

Stage 7 was an individual time trial, so there was a good chance that Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) would shine, starting last on this stage. Especially with the profile of this stage, which was mostly flat for 34 kilometers but ended up climbing up to the finish. For a long time, it was Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) who kept the fastest time, but while he lost time on the flat section to the Italian, in the end it was Tadej Pogačar who came out on top!

Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 8/ Spoleto > Prati di Tivo - 152 km

This second victory of the week wasn't enough to whet the Slovenian rider's appetite, however... On Saturday, a real mountain stage once again perfectly suited the profile of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

Before reaching the summit at Prati di Tivo, however, it was once again Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) who went on the attack, joined by Martin Marcellusi (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and then by 12 other riders. Although UAE Team Emirates did its utmost to control the gap, it increased with each descent. However, on the final climb (at last), the peloton almost caught up with the leading group, when Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) went solo, but with around 4 kilometers to go, the adventure came to an end for him too.

A group of favourites then found themselves at the front, and several attacks were launched from there. No one was able to break away, however, and it was finally the pink rocket, Tadej Pogačar, who again took off the hardest at the end, to take his third stage victory of the week!

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sunday may 12, 2024 - 9/ Avezzano > Napoli - 214 km

The 9th and final stage of this first week of the Giro d'Italia 2024 was once again one for the sprinters, and Team Visma | Lease a Bike, which has experienced almost nothing but setbacks since the start of the season and since the beginning of this Giro d'Italia 2024, was finally able to take a handsome win, with Olav Kooij's victory, ahead of Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek).

It wasn't the day's breakaway by Polti Kometa duo Andrea Pietrobon and Mirco Maestri, joined in the last ~25km by Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step), Nicolas Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Kevin Vermaerke (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) and Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ) that would prevent them from finishing this stage in a sprint. With 21 kilometers to go, Alaphilippe was still going it alone, joined a little later by Ewen Costiou (Arkéa-B&B Hotels), but after a last attempt by Alaphilippe with 8 kilometers to go, the peloton caught them once and for all, when Jhonatan Narvaez (INEOS Grenadiers) tried his luck again, in vain as the Ecuadorian rider was also caught in the last 30 meters.

The pink jersey, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), then joined the sprint again, but in the end it was the real sprinters who contested this stage ... on the eve of the rest day they have just experienced!

Giro d'Italia 2024 rankings at the start of week two

At the start of this second week of the Giro d'Italia 2024, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is firmly established at the top of the overall classification, but also of the best climber classification!

The overall classification

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Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was able to extend his lead over his nearest rivals in the overall classification, thanks in particular to his performance in the time trial, but also, of course, to his consistent performance throughout the first week. Here is the top 5 overall at this stage:

1/ Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) - 32h59'04"
2/ Daniel Martinez (BORA-hansgrohe) - +2'40"
3/ Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) - +2'58"
4/ Ben O'Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) - +3'39"
5/ Cian Uijtdebroeks (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) - +4'02"

Best climber classification

In the mountain classification, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is also firmly in the lead, although throughout the week we've seen several riders go for the points on the various summits.

1/ Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) - 104 points
2/ Daniel Martinez (BORA-hansgrohe) - 52 points (-52)
3/ Simon Geschke (Cofidis) - 36 points (-68)
4/ Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Wanty) - 32 points (-72)
5/ Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) - 22 points (-82)

Points ranking

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In the points classification, it was Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) who took the lead, thanks to his consistency at the finish and the points collected in the various intermediate sprints:

1/ Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) - 174 points
2/ Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) - 116 points (-58)
3/ Olav Kooij (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) - 115 points (-59)
4/ Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) - 100 points (-74)
5/ Andrea Pietrobon (Team Polti Kometa) - 68 points (-106)

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Best young rider ranking

Embed from Getty Images
It wasn't just Olav Kooij's stage win that gave Team Visma | Lease a Bike its first-week showdown. Cian Uijtdebroeks, who joined the team this year, was also on the podium throughout the week, except on the evening of the time trial when he temporarily lost the lead in the best young rider classification.

1/ Cian Uijtdebroeks (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) - 33h03'06"
2/ Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious) - +0'21"
3/ Thymen Arensman (INEOS Grenadiers) - +1'28"
4/ Alex Baudin (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) - +2'32"
5/ Filippo Zana (Team Jayco AlUla) - +3'10"

The rest of the Giro d'Italia 2024

There are now 12 stages left until the final finish in Rome on May 26. Don't forget that:
- you can find the route of the various stages on detailed maps
- every day, results, a photo of the finish and the stage summary video (possibly initially the video of the last kilometer, later replaced by the one with the summary) can be found on the Giro d'Italia 2024 page in the UCI cycling calendar!

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Giro d Italia | Giro d'Italia 2024

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