Freeman Cebu Sports

This 2022 Giro d’Italia is Boring

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

Yeah, you read it right. It’s boring.

In the recent past, it’s the two lesser Grand Tours (the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana) that has given us more excitement than the measured dance steps of the Tour de France. This year though, I can only say that stage 9 was the best stage of the whole 3-week Giro. Here are a few reasons why:

1- Lack of bonafide GC superstars in the race. Richard Carapaz was the favorite going into the race. Carapaz, an Ecuadorian, had won this race back in 2019 but he is not on the same level as Tadej Pogacar or a Primoz Roglic or an Egan Bernal in terms of skill nor status. I don’t think he can speak English well, either, and probably one reason why the English press doesn’t cover him as much. Frenchman Romain Bardet was also another contender but DNF’d due to an injury. Former winner Vincenzo Nibali was also considered a contender but only for sentimental reasons. He is retiring at the end of this 2022 season. Australian Jai Hindley is the current Pink leaders jersey going into the last stage but he wasn’t considered a contender.

2- Lack of attacking in the mountains. Until stage 20, I only saw Carapaz doing the attacking. His rivals were just merely watching his moves and being reactive instead of being proactive. Seeing the group of contenders riding together during a mountain finish just shows you how boring the racing has become. I yearn for those times when Marco Pantani would attack from way out. At this Giro, the saying that cyclists make the race rings true. No matter how hard the race route is, if the cyclist won’t race, then its going to be a boring race.

3- Lack of marquee sprinters. Bringing in Mark Cavendish for the Giro is a big mistake for his team. He should be sprinting for the Tour de France to beat the record of stage wins held by the GOAT, Eddy Merckx, not in this Giro. Arnaud Démare is another sprinter who is doing well in this Giro but he is racing an uninterested Cavendish and a sub-par Fernando Gaviria. Gavairia used to be so quick but since he left the team Quickstep a long time ago, he has not reached that level.

4- Lack of marquee climbers. The KoM is Dutchman Koen Bouwman, unfortunately, I heard of him before this Giro. I was wondering where the Claudio Chiappuci’s, or the Robert Millars of the world are in this race. The race certainly needs a distraction from the GC racing when they are in a truce and the climbers and sprinters could certainly provide the excitement.

5- Total Team Control. These days, with earpieces on all of the riders ear, racing has become more of a chess. Everyone has to listen to the puppeteer from the team car to do this and that. There is no spontaneity in the racing. Some can argue that this phenomenon is a result of a more level playing field but I think it has got to do with excessive micromanagement of the team directors. The UCI also deserves a blame

Everyone wants to witness epic races, not racing just to be able to satisfy the sponsors requirement. But I guess that’s how our world turns today.

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