This Friday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will line up for its second Tour of Italy (2.UWT) in its history. The 105th edition of the Giro will start in Budapest with three days in Hungary before reaching Italy on day four.
In 2021, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux took a memorable stage win thanks to Taco van der Hoorn in Canale, the first success of the team in a Grand Tour. The team was omnipresent in the race and finished nine times in the top ten with five different riders.
For the 2022 edition, the organization divided the parcours in seven flat stages, six in the middle mountains and six others in the high mountains, with also two time trials on the second and the final day. The first maglia rosa will be handed over to the strongest rider on a climb of 5 kilometer (4.2%) in Visegrád.
After an individual time trial of 9.2 kilometer and a flat stage, the peloton reaches Italy via Sicily. The top of the Etna, the first of seven mountain top finishes, is waiting for the riders during the two day stay on the island.
Both rest days is preceded by a difficult mountain stage, which brings the peloton respectively to the top of Blockhaus (9th stage) in the Apennines and Cogne (15th stage) in the Alps. This last one is an appetizer of what’s waiting for the riders in a very challenging third week.
The famous Passo del Mortirolo has to be covered halfway through the sixteenth stage, while an altitude of 2000 meter is exceeded on the penultimate day on the Passo Pordoi and the finish on the top of the Passo Fedaia. The Tour of Italy finished with an individual time trial of 17 kilometer though the streets of Verona.
For the sixteenth time in his career, Domenico Pozzovivo will be at the start of his national Tour. The winner of a stage in Lago Laceno (2012), finished six times in the top ten of the general classification among whom two fifth places (2014 & 2018). The climber finished in the top ten of 40 difficult stages.
Another stage winner in the line up is Rein Taaramäe, thanks to a strong performance on Sant’Anna di Vinadio in 2016. In the latest Vuelta he became the first rider of the team to wear a leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. He also dreamed of pink last year during his breakaway in the fourth stage, in which he finished ninth.
The Czech climber Jan Hirt, will participate to the Giro for the second year in a row just like Taaramäe. The recent winner of the Tour of Oman was among the best climbers in the third week last year, obtaining fourteenth place in Alpe di Mera and eleventh in Alpe Motta. He finished twelfth in the edition of 2017 and took second place in the stage towards Ponte du Legno in 2019, which contained the Passo del Mortirolo.
Together, the three climbers participated 44 times to the Grand Tours. In contrary, it will be the first time for Biniam Girmay (22) and Barnabás Peák (23). The Eritrean rider was the first African to win a major classic in Ghent-Wevelgem and will start his first three-week event in the native city of his teammate and lead out Peák.
Belgian rider Aimé De Gendt, who discovered the roads of Le Tour with the World Team in 2019, will make his debut in the Giro alongside his compatriot Loïc Vliegen, who obtained two podium finishes this season before his second Tour of Italy. Lombard rider Lorenzo Rota will race on home roads in his fourth Giro under the direction of Steven De Neef and Valerio Piva.