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Giro d’Italia 2021: First Rest Day Recap

After ten stages of the 2021 Giro d’Italia, we have reached the race’s first rest day. 

 

For the riders, the rest day is a great chance to heal up and recover after a grueling first week and a half. For the fans, the day is an opportunity to take stock of where things currently stand. 

 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the current race situation. We will touch upon classification standings, key moments and what the race still has in store.

 

Giro Classification Rankings

 

Overall

 

 

With the top nine riders separated by less than a minute, the general classification is still wide open. 

 

Pre-race favorite Egan Bernal has looked extremely strong throughout the first ten days. Bernal claimed the maglia rosa thanks to his stage win to Campo Felice on Sunday. That performance on the gravel, plus his third place at Strade Bianche earlier in the season both seem to be positive signs ahead of the gravel sectors of stage 11. 

 

The 21-year-old Remco Evenepoel has also been impressive. He currently sits in second place, and he has established himself as Deceuninck’s outright GC leader. Just yesterday, Evenepoel went head to head with Bernal for bonus seconds, so he is clearly up for the fight.

 

The third big pre-race favorite, Simon Yates, has been the quietest out of the trio. Yates is currently ninth, 56 seconds behind Bernal. It is certainly possible that Yates is trying to save as much energy as possible for a brutal third week of climbing.

 

Aleksandr Vlasov, Gulio Ciccone and Attila Valter have all been very impressive through the first ten stages. Vlasov has quietly ridden himself into a podium spot, while Ciccone has gone on the offensive and animated the race.

 

Valter did extremely well to take the maglia rosa on stage six. In doing so, the 22-year-old became the first Hungarian to lead a Grand Tour. Valter may continue to slide down the GC in the coming stages. However, expect him to continue to be active in the breakaway on mountainous stages. 

 

The biggest GC loss thus far has been Mikel Landa. The Spanaird sadly crashed out on stage five after looking extremely strong on the climbs the day before. 

 

Points

 

 

After his victory on stage ten, Peter Sagan currently holds the maglia ciclamino. After finishing runner up to Arnaud Démare a season ago, Sagan is poised to take home his first points classification at the Giro.

 

The past few days have seen the withdrawal of fast men like Caleb Ewan and Tim Merlier. As a result, Fernando Gaviria is probably Sagan’s biggest challenger for the jersey.

 

The two went head to head on stage ten, with Sagan coming out on top.

 

Mountain

 

 

AG2R’s Geoffrey Bouchard currently holds the maglia azzurra due to his efforts on stage nine. Bouchard leads Egan Bernal by three points and Gino Mäder by seven. 

 

With all the climbing still remaining in the second and third weeks, the race for this competition is far from over.

 

Key Moments of the Giro

 

So far, the 2021 Giro d’Italia has been packed full of memorable moments. 

 

To start, we had the dominance of Filippo Ganna in the Turin time trial. Tim Merlier secured the first Grand Tour stage win in the history of the Alpecin-Fenix team. We have had four great breakaway wins from the likes of Taco van der Hoorn, Joe Dombrowski, Gino Mäder and Victor Lafay. 

 

Alessandro De Marchi secured the first maglia rosa of his lengthy career, while Attila Valter secured the first maglia rosa for an entire country. 

 

Caleb Ewan laid the foundations for his attempt to win a stage in all three Grand Tours in 2021. Egan Bernal was a level above everyone else in Campo Felice. Finally, Peter Sagan’s victory on stage ten was a great example of a team working together for a common goal.  

 

We have also seen some great moments off the bike. Highlights include Márton Dina talking about his friend Attila Valter wearing the maglia rosa and Egan Bernal trying to explain the meaning of his first Grand Tour stage win. 

 

The fact that the Giro has already produced so many spectacular moments shows what a special race it is.

 

The Road Ahead

 

The Giro d’Italia returns to action tomorrow with what could be an early contender for the Grand Tour stage of the decade. The gravel sectors on the way to Montalcino are likely to produce unpredictable racing that could significantly impact the general classification.

 

The other two decisive days in the next week are stage 14 from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan and stage 16 from Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Both days feature plenty of climbing, which means the GC contenders will need to bring their A games.

 

Stage 12 is likely the best breakaway opportunity of the week. Stage 13 is the clearest chance remaining in the Giro for the pure sprinters to contest the win.

 

As the race continues to progress, the accumulation of fatigue will become more of a factor. This means that riders who are unproven over three weeks (Remco Evenepoel) and riders who have dealt with injuries (Egan Bernal) may have their durability tested in the coming days. 

 

As a result, the riders should also see more opportunities to hunt stage wins and KOM points from the breakaway. 

 

The building fatigue and the staggering amount of climbing should combine for an open and unpredictable conclusion to this race. 

 

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