Matt White's Giro d'Italia Stage 1 Preview:
Saturday, May 11, 2019
8km Bologna (ITT)
The riders start the Giro d’Italia with a short time trial that’s comprised of two parts. The first section is around six kilometres in length and is on flat roads but the final two kilometres are uphill and it’s on the same roads that are used at the Giro dell'Emilia. Because it’s so short it’s virtually flat-out, but I struggle to see anyone winning other than Roglic or Dumoulin. There’s too much flat for a climber to win and the climb is short enough for those two to match the best riders uphill. They’ll have an advantage going into the climb and then they’ll just need to manage their efforts. I also can’t see anyone changing from a time trial set up to a road bike for the climb because if you change you’ll never gain that time back and your switch is going to cost you around 20 seconds. As far as any rider starting and finishing on road bikes, that’s only going to happen if a team rocks up in Bologna and has forgotten their time trial machines.
Overall though, it’s not a super technical course. I don’t think it’s going to matter too much regarding the conditions, but in terms of the overall picture, the results will provide a good indication of who is coming into the race hot. From my initial impression of the first 10 days, there aren’t going to be too many opportunities for the GC guys to really go head-to-head with each other. All the GC guys at this point should be within 30 seconds of each other.