Giro 2024. What can the French hope for in the Tour of Italy?

Giro 2024. What can the French hope for in the Tour of Italy?
Giro 2024. What can the French hope for in the Tour of Italy?

At Veneria Reale, the venue for the Grand Départ of the Giro, all eyes will be on Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), the huge favorite to bring the pink jersey back to Rome on May 26. But behind the insatiable Slovenian, a contingent of French riders intends to disrupt “Pogi” in his quest for the general classification and stage victories. If France has what it takes to shine overall and win a few stages along the way, it should be more discreet in the sprints.

Bardet has a score to settle with the Giro

Among the strongest in 2022, Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich PostNL) had to retire due to illness while he was still in the race to bring the pink jersey back to the Italian capital. This year, the Auvergne returns to the roads of the Giro for the first time since this heartbreak. Brilliant on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he took second place between Tadej Pogacar and Mathieu van der Poel, Bardet found his 2022 canes and can legitimately apply for a final podium. Especially since the competition is not fierce apart from Pogacar. Bardet will nevertheless have to deal with a team split in two given the presence of the sprinter tandem Tobias Lund Andresen and Fabio Jakobsen.

Alaphilippe discovers the Giro

Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal – Quick-Step) will have waited until his 13the professional season to put his wheels down at the Giro. Criticized by Patrick Lefevere for several months, but reassuring on the last Tour de Romandie, the double world champion seems to be getting back into shape at the best of times. In a team without a real leader, the Frenchman will have all the freedom to play his card to get a stage. Like Tadej Pogacar, in the event of victory in Italy, he would join the club of stage winners of the three Grand Tours. If Alaphilippe should not have any ambitions for the general, he could nevertheless aim for the mountain classification, which he already won in the Tour de France in 2018.

Calmejane, Laporte… The stage hunters

Julian Alaphilippe will not be the only Frenchman aiming for the stages in this Tour of Italy. Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché – Wanty) arrives in Italy to seek a victory which would make him join the club of winners in the three Grand Tours. Relieved of the presence of Jonas Vingegaard, Christophe Laporte (Visma – Lease a bike) will also have his card to play for the stages. But the Frenchman will have to rely on a breakaway to shine since he should play the launcher for Olav Kooij in the mass sprints. For its second Giro after 2023, Arkéa – B & B Hotels will also aim for a stage victory with Ewen Costiou and Louis Barré.

Ben O’Connor’s Lieutenants

Successful since the start of the season, Decathlon – AG2R La Mondiale will have its sights set on the podium in this Giro with Ben O’Connor. 4e of the 2021 Tour, the Australian will be able to count on a French bodyguard.

READ ALSO. Date, route, stages, broadcast, favorites, entrants… Everything you need to know about the Tour of Italy

He will be able to rely on the brothers Aurélien and Valentin Paret-Peintre, who shone on the Tour des Alpes. Alex Baudin will also be a strong asset for the Australian, while Bastien Tronchon could have his card to play on certain stages.

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