After a two-year wait, things are starting in Hungary. And at least the country’s political class can’t wait. 100 days before the start of the Giro there was the “Night of Pink Lights”. The views of all 37 passing cities in Hungary were bathed in pink light, from the Statue of Liberty in Budapest to Visegrad Castle to the Tagore Promenade in Balatonfüred.
“You are always looking for business”
Starting abroad so far from the traditional Giro area, however, creates logistical problems for the racing teams. Giuseppe Martinelli of the Astana stable:
“When you start abroad, there is always a certain break. But the tour starts in Denmark, the Vuelta also starts abroad. You are always looking for business, it’s normal development, but it makes the teams quite difficult.”
Two Tours of Italy in one year
Martinelli even speaks of two Tours of Italy in one year from a logistical point of view. Because while a convoy with the team bus and the materials truck is still in Hungary, a second convoy leaves for Sicily, where the first three stages in Hungary will continue.
From an ecological point of view, a transfer of almost 2000 kilometers is absurd. The race distance itself is 3410 kilometers.
Professional cyclists themselves focus primarily on sports. Their heartbeat of expectations increases. Emanuel Buchmann from the Bora hansgrohe team:
“I’m looking forward to the Giro, which will start after the long preparation”.
Buchmann with modest expectations
Buchmann is one of the three captains of the German team. But he goes into the race with slightly dampened hopes for his own results.
“At the moment I am not in 100 percent shape, or not as I would have liked. I was sick after the Tour of the Basque Country. I was on the right track until then. And our preparation went very well. Then we had to postpone a week the entire training camp at high altitude “.
Bronchitis put Buchmann out of business for a while. As a result, his goals have been slightly revised downwards.
“In principle, a podium would have been the goal if the preparation had gone well. But now we have to see how things are going. Hard to say at the moment. I just want to go well this year, without falling, without illness. And I think a good result is still possible “.
The Etna volcano as a highlight of the tour
Above all, Buchmann wants to support his two co-captains Jay Hindley and Wilco Kelderman. In 2020, when the start in Hungary was scheduled for the first time, they finished second and third in the overall standings, at that moment for the other German team Sunweb. Kelderman has already impressed as the fastest favorite on Etna.
It is also scheduled for this year. And it’s a key moment on this tour. At least that’s what Giuseppe Martinelli, sports director with more than 40 years of experience in the Giro thinks, first on a motorcycle and then in the car.
“We can get there after the first three days in Hungary. It will be very difficult right away. The climb on Punto Sapienza has always created differences.”
The mountain stages arouse little enthusiasm
It is the beginning of a long climb. Five pure mountain stages and seven daily sections with a higher difficulty level can be found in the course map of the three weeks of competition.
The climbs amount to over 50,000 meters in altitude, about 4,000 meters more than last year. This creates a mixed atmosphere in the field. Emanuele Buchman:
“Yes, at an altitude of 55,000 meters, when you’re in a good mood, you can’t wait to do something like that. When you’re not in a good mood, you have a little more respect.”
His team’s toughest competitors are the reinvigorated Ineos racing team around 2019 Giro winner Richard Carapaz. There are also Portuguese Quick Step’s Joao Almeida, former tour runner-up Romain Bardet from DSM and Miguel Angel Lopez of Martinelli’s Astana team.
The decision is expected for the penultimate stage on May 28 at the Marmolada Pass at 2057 m. The last day’s time trial in Verona, only 17 km long, should not involve very large gaps.
There are only 26 kilometers of time trial in total. The Giro 2022 will be a pure climbing event.