Team director Gregory Rast analyzes the Corsa Rosa for Trek-Segafredo
The Giro d’Italia is about to unveil itself to the eyes of the cycling world. With two days to the start of the 105th edition, the attention is growing – a curiosity to see the riders race a course that reflects the characteristics that have made the Corsa Rosa famous: toughness, unpredictability and frenzy.
To better understand what to expect over the next three weeks, we chatted with Trek-Segafredo’s leading team director Gregory Rast about our two pivotal factors in the first GT of the season: our eight-rider team and the course.
“The Grande Partenza in Hungary will be a very nervous three days. The first Maglia Rosa is a high-stakes game, everyone will be fresh, and the routes are full of unknowns. Imagining the first stage, mostly flat and with a final climb to decide the winner – we can expect a very high level of tension. And everyone expects it. The time trial the following day, although short, is very technical and not to be underestimated. In short, you have to be ready from the first kilometer of the race.
“With the restart in Sicily and Mount Etna on Stage 4, we will have a first definition of the GC. It will be the first real division of the race,”
A challenging mountain finish already on day four is a positive element. It will serve to face the hectic stages that follow with less pressure
“There will be more opportunities for attacks from afar, but, at the same time, the fight to get into a breakaway will be tight. Until the Blockhaus stage (9th), it will be a very difficult race to predict; routes that are anything but bland. It’s enough to look at the stage arriving in Potenza (7th) or Naples (8th): risky for those who look at the GC, but at the same time, inspiring to race and watch,”
“The second week will have a softer start but not predictable. Reggio Emilia, Genoa and Cuneo are arrivals on paper for fast wheels, but there will be a fight. From Stage 14, finishing in Turin, the mountainous Giro begins. The next three days, interspersed with the last rest day, will be a fundamental step. Stage 16, 202kms with Passo Croce Domini, Mortirolo, Valico Santa Cristina, and arrival at Aprica, is for me, the queen stage and the hardest of the whole Giro.
“The last five days will be the most-awaited and the decisive ones for the final classification. There is a continuous up and down between the Alps and the Dolomites, with only the Treviso stage (18th) to give a bit of breathing space. The penultimate day on the Marmolada will tell a lot about the definition of the GC, but maybe not everything. The ITT in Verona could be a catwalk, but not for everyone. Once again, uncertainty and toughness are what makes the Giro a special race to enjoy until the last breath.”
OUR TREK-SEGAFREDO TEAM
“I feel this is the most complete and well-equipped team I’ve ever led in a GT as a sport director. This squad has everything to be competitive on every stage that the Giro 2022 offers. It’s a great motivating factor for everyone: riders, directors and staff,”
I think there are many strong teams to compete with, who will try to impose their own race. For us, maybe this one is a too ambitious goal, but we have to be conscious of our strength and that we can play at the highest level in many stages. This must be our mantra
“We have two riders, Ciccone and Skjelmose, who have the characteristics and the ambition to look at the GC. However, for Mattias, it is the first time ever in a GT. But we have to be patient and face this challenge, stage by stage. There are always so many variables to take care of, and we will not underestimate them, but smartness and intelligence are needed to do well in GC while still fighting for stage wins,”
I expect a united and motivated team. Mollema, Ciccone, Cataldo, and Mosca know the Giro well; the other half of the team will race it for the first time. I ask Theuns, Vergaerde, Lopez, and Skjelmose to face this experience with serenity and grit. The Giro is a unique race, different in environment and level of competitiveness. Racing the Giro is a fundamental stage of growth and maturation for every rider. Being a winner, would be a consecration.”