Preview Six Days of Ghent with De Buyst and Van der Sande
"With my past, I can’t stand at the start without the ambition to win."
Yesterday, the route of the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia was unveiled. The first Grand Tour of the year starts on Saturday 11 May 2019 in Bologna and ends on Sunday 2 June in Verona. The first and last stage are individual time trials, just like the stage ahead of the first rest day. The sprinters have at least six opportunities and there are seven summit finishes, twice at the end of a time trial. Lotto Soudal sports director Bart Leysen has already taken a thorough look at the course.
Bart Leysen: “This Giro starts with a short, but tough time trial. On this type of course many specialists won’t be able to take the win. It could even be that a GC rider takes the first pink jersey. Next, the GC riders can keep calm for one and a half week, because it lasts till then before they head into the mountains. Ahead of the first rest day there are some long stages, of more than 200 kilometres. The first week is a combination of sprint stages and hilly stages; a bit like Tirreno-Adriatico. The day before the first rest day, there’s another time trial. During the first week, there will be many contestants for the pink jersey.”
“After the first rest day, there are two more flat stages before the battle for GC can begin. The sixteenth stage, which takes the riders over the Gavia and Mortirolo, will already be decisive. I don’t think the closing time trial will be exciting for the overall victory. This Giro is made for Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome.”
“We don’t have a GC rider and so it will be necessary to start with a team full of aggressive riders. The long stages in the second and third week could be an opportunity, as it could be difficult for the teams of the GC riders to control those stages.”