International Sport > Cycling > FROOME FACING STIFF COMPETITION FOR GIRO D'ITALIA TITLE

FROOME FACING STIFF COMPETITION FOR GIRO D'ITALIA TITLE

History beckons for Chris Froome at the Giro d'Italia as he goes in search of the triple crown, but the Team Sky rider is not the only contender for the title.

The first Grand Tour of 2018 will see the peloton cover 3,562.9 kilometres across the 21 stages, with two individual time trials and eight gruelling days in the mountains.

In a first for the race, the start will begin outside of Europe with three stages in Israel after things get under way in Jerusalem on May 4.

Should Froome be in pink when the race rolls into Rome over three weeks later he would become the seventh man to win all three Grand Tours.

However, it will only be his third appearance in the race and he will have plenty of competition for top spot.

Here, starting with Froome, we look at the contenders for the maglia rosa and how they have fared this year.

CHRIS FROOME (TEAM SKY)
2018: Races – 3; Race wins – 0; Stage wins – 0; Race days – 17; Distance covered – 2407.55km

Froome will take to the start line under a cloud of uncertainty given his ongoing UCI investigation for returning an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the Vuelta a Espana.

His preparations have not been disrupted by the case, though, Froome looking in good shape at the Tour of the Alps as he finished fourth overall.

TOM DUMOULIN (TEAM SUNWEB)
2018: Races – 5; Race wins – 0; Stage wins – 0; Race days – 12; Distance covered – 1956.1km

The defending champion is seen by many as the man who can stop Froome, particularly given his blistering pace in time trials. He has not enjoyed the best start to 2018, though, with crashes, mechanicals and illness hampering his form.

Dumoulin has had the lightest schedule of all the main contenders heading to Jerusalem, covering less than 2000 kilometres in the five races he has contested.

FABIO ARU (UAE-TEAM EMIRATES)
2018: Races – 4; Race wins – 0; Stage wins – 0; Race days – 23; Distance covered – 3251.85km

With Vincenzo Nibali prioritising the Tour de France, Aru is once again Italy's big hope and this year he has no repeat of the injury that saw him miss out in 2017.

Aru swapped Astana for UAE-Team Emirates for 2018 but has yet to hit the heights he is capable of, twice finishing outside the top 10 and abandoning the Volta a Catalunya.

THIBAUT PINOT (FDJ)
2018: Races – 3; Race wins – 1; Stage wins – 0; Race days – 14; Distance covered – 2211.7km

Pinot's build-up to the Giro has been very impressive, the Frenchman taking victory in the Tour of the Alps, while also looking strong in the mountains – he finished third in the classification.

The 27-year-old has carefully selected his races this year as he looks to go better than his fourth-placed finish 12 months ago.

ESTEBAN CHAVES (MITCHELTON-SCOTT)
2018: Races – 4; Race wins – 1; Stage wins – 1; Race days – 21; Distance covered – 3152km

Two years ago, Chaves put his name firmly in the frame for a future Grand Tour victory with second place at the Giro, but he has failed to kick on.

Chaves – who won the Herald Sun Tour in February – has two battles ahead of him, the GC and claiming a leading role from the promising Simon Yates.

MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ (ASTANA)
2018: Races – 4; Race wins – 0; Stage wins – 2; Race days – 25; Distance covered – 3554.55km

Perhaps something of an outsider, Lopez should not be overlooked given his impressive start to 2018 with Astana.

Having come out of Aru's shadow, the Colombian has picked up stage wins at the Tour of Oman and Tour of the Alps, while also claiming three top 10s. Chaves will love the mountains and could cause an upset if his team-mates can provide the support he needs.

Copyright:
 
Share |

FROOME THRILLED WITH 'PERFECT' BUILD-UP TO GIRO VIVIANI DOUBLES UP WITH EILAT VICTORY
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Search our Site Advertising on MaltaSport