A wide array of riders vying to win the Giro d’Italia pink jersey are gathering in Budapest where the race embarks on Friday for 21 days of action ending in Verona for a time trial. We take a look at five riders in the running for the 105th edition that covers three days of riding in Hungary before reaching Italy’s peaks and plains.

Richard Carapaz (ECU – INEOS Grenadiers)

Richard Carapaz (Ineos)

Tactically brilliant and ruthless Ineos are targeting a third straight pink jersey with their best fit rider Richard Carapaz. The 2019 Giro champion will be easily recognizable by his gold helmet and gold-braided uniform in honour of his Olympic gold from the iconic Mount Fuji race where he beat Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar.


Simon Yates (GBR – Team BikeExchange – Jayco)

Simon Yates (Bike Exchange)

The man who suffered a meltdown on the 2018 Giro after spending 13 stages in pink, British climber Simon Yates bounced back to win the Vuelta a Espana that year and ended the year ranked world number one. Now 29, he has raced the past four Giros, all with Matt White’s Bike Exchange, coming third last year, and was also second at Paris-Nice this spring.


Joao Almeida (POR – UAE Team Emirates)

Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)

In 2020 Joao Almeida led the Giro for 15 days as a rookie, this year he returns as the leader of Team UAE Emirates with plenty of back-up. The 23-year-old Portuguese has an advantage in the time trials and has the kind of independence of spirit needed to go it alone in the mountains.


Tom Dumoulin (NED – Jumbo – Visma)

Tom Dumoulin (Team Jumbo-Visma)

“I have the two most beautiful jerseys in the world,” Tom Dumoulin said after adding the Giro d’Italia to his world champion rainbow jersey in 2017. The world was at Dumoulin’s feet before he decided to “get off the train” and take a breather shortly after joining Jumbo in 2020. The Dutchman was runner-up at the Olympics in his time-trial speciality, and has always professed his motivation to win the Giro again.


Romain Bardet (FRA – Team DSM)

Romain Bardet (Team DSM)

French nearly man Romain Bardet has raced 11 Grand Tours and says he should have both the will to win and enough energy in the tank in the final week to make it count this time. Bardet has been runner-up on the Tour de France and at the world championships, and few would be surprised if he made the great leap forwards in 2022.

RBA/AFP Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency

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