After a four-month postponement, the Giro d’Italia begins in Monreale, Italy next week. Geraint Thomas (Ineos), winner of the 2018 Tour de France, comes into the 2020 Giro d’Italia as the 1/1 odds favorite to win. Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, riding with Trek-Segafredo for the first time at Giro d’Italia, is 10/1 odds to win his third pink jersey.

Vincenzo Nibali Giro d'Italia 2020 Odds Geraint Thomas
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali celebrates a victory at the 2016 Giro d’Italia. (Image: AP)

Nibali, nicknamed “Lo Squalo” (translation = shark), won the Giro d’Italia in 2013 and again in 2016. Only eight riders in the history of Giro d’Italia won three pink jerseys, and Nibali would love to be the ninth. He’ll have the entire nation rooting for him to make cycling history.

Richard Carapaz (Ineos) is the defending champion at Giro d’Italia. His status is unknown because he joined the Tour de France roster for Ineos when they switched up their lineup. Ineos wanted to keep Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas fresh for the Giro d’Italia, so both riders were omitted from Le Tour’s roster. Carapaz got the promotion and was tasked with helping Egan Bernal defend his Tour de France title.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton–Scott) comes in at 3/1 odds to win his first Giro d’Italia.

  • Geraint Thomas (Ineos) 1/1
  • Simon Yates (Mitchelton–Scott) 3/1
  • Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 11/2
  • Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) 7/1
  • Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Sega) 10/1
  • Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) 28/1
  • Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) 40/1

The Giro d’Italia usually begins in May. It’s the first of the three Grand Tour races in Europe, including the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana (Spain). Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, organizers postponed the race until October 3.

Giro d’Italia always ends in Milan, but this year, the grand depart will begin with Stage 1 in Monreale.

Giro d’Italia History

Much like the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia was concocted by a newspaper to drum up business. In 1909, La Gazzetta dello Sport hosted the first Giro d’Italia. They drew inspiration from the Tour de France, which started six years earlier.

La Gazzetta dello Sport stood out at the newsstand for its use of pink paper. That’s why the Giro d”Italia winner wins the coveted pink jersey.

  • 2010 Ivan Basso
  • 2011 Michele Scarponi
  • 2012 Ryder Hesjedal
  • 2013 Vincenzo Nibali
  • 2014 Nairo Quintana
  • 2015 Alberto Contador
  • 2016 Vincenzo Nibali
  • 2017 Tom Dumoulin
  • 2018 Chris Froome
  • 2019 Richard Carapaz

The 2020 Giro d’Italia features 21-stage race that includes rides through two mountain ranges. There will be three individual time trials. The “gruppo” (peloton) faces hellacious climbs to the the top of Colle dell’Agnello, Col de Montgenevre, and Col d’Izoard.

Before the Giro ends in Milan, riders must survive the mountain stages on the Italian side of the Alps. It’s not uncommon for the peloton to face snowy and icy conditions in the Alps.

Many cycling purists consider the Giro d’Italia to be the hardest to win out of the three Grand Tours. The Giro d’Italia has a huge degree of difficulty because of potential snow in the Alps, poor weather, longer stages, steeper climbs, narrower roads, crazier fans, and multi-hour transfers between each stage.

Leggende: Binda, Coppi, and Lo Squalo

Two Italian cycling superheroes, Alfredo Binda and Fausto Coppi, won the Maglia Rosa (aka pink jersey) five times.

Binda dominated the sport in the 1920s, including three wins in a row between 1927 and 1929.

Coppi won the Maglia Rosa for the first time in 1940, and won four more times after WWII when the Giro d’Italia returned to action in 1947.

Belgian superstar Eddy Merckx is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time because he won the Tour de France five times, but he also won the Giro d’Italia five times. Merckx won the pink jersey three years in a row between 1972 and 1974.

  • Alfredo Binda (Italy) 5
  • Fausto Coppi (Italy) 5
  • Eddy Merckx (Belgium) 5
  • Giovanni Brunero (Italy) 3
  • Gino Bartali (Italy) 3
  • Fiorenzo Magni (Italy) 3
  • Felice Gimondi (Italy) 3
  • Bernard Hinault (France) 3

Nibali, 35, doesn’t have much time remaining in the saddle. At his age, he’s ancient compared to the young wave of cyclists who are dominating cycling in their early 20s. In the last two years, a pair of “kids” won the Tour de France with Tadej Pogacar (21) and Egan Bernal (22). The difficulty and brutality of the Giro makes it more favorable to veterans.

If the “Jaws” movies taught you anything, you know you should never turn your back on a shark.

His fellow riders nicknamed Nibali “Lo Squalo” for a reason. If he’s still lurking at the front of the GC by the time the races reach its final stages in the Alps, then Nibali has a legit shot at winning his third Maglia Rosa. At 10/1 odds, Lo Squalo is worthy of a flier. Vinciamo!

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