Giro d’Italia – Guimard: “Bardet must compete for a place on the podium”

Cyril Guimardback for his column on Cycling news ! Four days before the great start of the 105 edition of Tour of Italy (May 6-29) in Budapest, on Druid returned to the great spaces on the stakes of this first great lap of the 2022 season. The route, his favorites for the general classification, the French possibilities to shine on the Italian roads, with in particular Romain Bardet (DSM-Team), Guglielmo Martino (Cofidis) e Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) … Theformer sports director Bernard Hinault provided a complete analysis of the transalpine race. It also evokes the potential return ofEgan Bernl (INEOS Grenadiers) to compete in the coming weeks.

Video – Guimard’s chronicle begins before the 105th Giro d’Italia

“I think Richard Carapaz and Joao Almeida will play the main roles”

Cyrille, the 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia begins this Friday 6 May. Do you think we will vibrate on Italian roads?

Having studied almost all the steps, I would say yes. There is a path that allows you to make a movement competition between mountaineers and backpackers. The sprinters, on the other hand, are a bit like the poor relatives of this Giro. But there are all the ingredients to make a good race and twists.

Who do you see as the big favorite, between Carapaz, Yates, Bilbao …?

It’s hard enough to say. (Richard) Carapaz can act as number one. (Joao) Almeida seems to me well equipped to be able to play there in this field. The race will undoubtedly revolve around them. And then there is also the Bahrain team, with (Wout) Poels, (Mikel) Landa, (Pello) Bilbao … I think they will have collective control over this edition. But I still think it will be Carapaz and Almeida who will play the main roles.

Nothing Simon Yates?

At the moment it is going very well. But we have already seen him fly, then lie down in the last few days at the Giro. If he’s gotten a little mature and powerful – I think he’s gotten a little wiser than he was four years ago – then yeah, you can bookmark him. But his team is still not the strongest of the bunch.

“Given the opposition, Romain Bardet has to fight for a place on the podium”

And the French? Can they aim for a top 5?

Can the French play a role in this Giro? We actually have two drivers who can claim the overall standings. Guillaume Martin is consistent and will follow paths suitable for him. But our best chance is definitely Romain Bardet. We have seen him for some time, he has matured, he has a lot of serenity. He seems happy to ride a bicycle, even if there was the story of Liège-Bastogne-Liège that upset him a little. Not just him, but the whole group. I see him well as a Roman, given the opposition in this Giro. For me he has to play for a place on the podium.

Earlier you were talking about sprinters. And Arnaud Démare? After a disappointing start to the season, can you do the 2020 Giro again, with four wins and the Ciclamino jersey?

Yeah, four wins, it will be difficult because there must be four sprints in all. So we should win all four of them, it seems complicated to me. Especially since among the sprinters present there is still Caleb Ewan who is doing very well, and (Mark) Cavendish with (Davide) Ballerini. That said, there aren’t many sprinters in this Giro. But we must not lose these four stages which must end in a sprint. I also see four other stages where sprinters may be present, competing with adventurers. But often in Italy, on this type of courses, it is the adventurers who have the last word. Because in the Giro the Italians are used to finding some small hills to climb in the last 20 or 30 kilometers. Fast riders like Arnaud Démare will not be to their advantage over others who go relatively fast.

“At the youth level, there is hardly anyone in this Giro. Only the elderly!”

We often see revelations about the Giro, for example Tao Geoghegan Hart in 2020. Do you see a rider emerging this year in the next three weeks of racing?

For the moment, on the drivers’ starting list, I would say no, not particularly. We could talk about (Mathieu) Van der Poel, but he is no longer really one of the riders who can test himself. He has already shown a lot. No, I don’t see a runner we could pull out of the hat like Almeida 2 years ago. It seems complicated to me. A priori, the very young were not favored by their teams in this Giro. I was looking at the starting list, at the youth level, there is hardly anyone. What old men! (Alejandro) Valverde, (Joaquin) Rojas, is not the youngest yet, not even Cavendish. (Tanel) Kangert, (Bauke) Mollema, (Diego) Ulissi, Rui Costa … The new generations like (Juan) Ayuso and company are not there. It is true that they are only 18 years old. And then the others are in the Tour de France. Except Egan Bernal.

“The Giro does not have extraordinary media coverage”

It’s the first big tour of the year, yet we don’t talk much about it. The effect of leaving for Budapest?

It must be said that there have also been many news! Especially with the classics. There have also been some changes to the schedules which mean the Giro doesn’t have extraordinary media coverage. Is it the fact that it starts from Budapest? I don’t know … It will also be the fact that in France we weren’t able to follow him last year. It wasn’t on television, so it doesn’t exist. This may be one of the reasons why we are not particularly passionate about this Giro. Let’s hope Romain Bardet and Guillaume Martin make sure the French are interested. They are the ones who have the key.

A prediction for the final podium?

I would see Carapaz-Almeida-Bardet.

“I don’t see how Egan Bernal can return to competition so soon”

You were talking about Egan Bernal earlier. He could only resume the competition at the end of May. Any idea on this return?

Shouldn’t he just resume training? I think there is a lot of information or intox. When you see the way the hospital surgeons have described the injuries he has had, I don’t see how he can return to competitions so soon. It is not a small injury. However, we will see, time always repairs mistakes.

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