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In less than ten days starts one of the first three big competitions of the year, a battle for the 'maglia rosa' and with the prominence of Latin American cyclists
Everything is ready for the flag raising and to start the crucial part of the European cycling calendar, which will begin on May 11 with the dispute of the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia. Year after year, due to the exigency, exuberance of its landscapes and passion of its people, this race exhibits emotions in bulk. What is the magic that surrounds the Giro and its novelties for this 2019? And above all, do Latin Americans have real possibilities to aspire for the crown? Here, in this special section of Latinamerican Post, the answers.
A historic race
When we talk about the Giro d'Italia, we talk about pure history. Its origins go back to 1909, year in which, according to El País, the initiative was born thanks to a cluster of dreamers, among them the owners of the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, who bet on the total promotion of the event.
"On May 13, 1909, in the Piazza di Loreto in Milan, the first Giro d'Italia began. In that edition, only 49 of the 127 participants managed to travel the 2,448 kilometers of the race. All the cyclists were Italian, with the exception of four Frenchmen. Luigi Ganna was the winner and wore the first pink jersey, which one should highlight that it takes that tone in honor of the pink pages on which La Gazzetta dello Sport is printed."
For this 2019 edition, 3,518 kilometers of route is the total distance of the competition, which will be divided into 21 detailed days as follows: three individual time trials, six flat stages, six stages with half mountain and five fractions of the most demanding mountains, in which of course will reign the steps by the peaks of Gavia, Mortirolo, Courmayeur and the famous Etna volcano.
According to the official website of the Giro d'Italia, everything indicates that, in this edition, it will start in Boloñia and conclude in the beautiful city of Verona; that there will be a lot of balance in the journey; that "on paper, the ups seem to predominate, some unpublished, others historical, but the time trials open and close the games and there you could define the champion".
News that never fail
While it is true that the pink jersey based its success on keeping much of its elements throughout time, it is clear that changes also arise year after year. For this version 2019, perhaps the most relevant novelty is the shirts, designed on this occasion by the famous brand Intimissimi Uomo.
As detailed in the race portal, "the jerseys of this 2019 have been designed to be light and aerodynamic, with seams that follow the shape of the athlete's body and guarantee a perfect fit. Four different SITIP fabrics will be used, placed on different parts of the body to maximize aerodynamics and breathability."
Also, it should be noted that, added to the pink jersey that the leader of the general classification will carry, there will be three other distinctions: the cyclamen jersey (violet), that will be for the leader of the points; the azzurri, that will be for the leader of the mountain; and the white one, that will be worn by the best one of the classification of the young people.
Two serious Latin American aspirants
Although the payrolls of the teams have not yet been defined for the dispute of this Giro d'Italia, there are already some confirmed names that begin to sound strong to be aspiring, among them the Colombians Egan Bernal and Miguel Ángel López, who have had a glorious 2019.
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Egan Bernal: the Team Sky portal, from now on called Team INEOS, points out that the leadership of the British cast was granted to the Colombian climber. As demonstrated in the last Tour de France when he served as gregarious of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, as well as by the most recent Paris-Nice in which he became champion, he gained the possibility of being a leader and to go in search of the crown. While it is clear that it will not be easy because it is the first time that Bernal takes the lead in a great round, he has the necessary conditions as a runner for the mountain.
Miguel Ángel López: another one of the strong cards for Colombia and Latin America will be that of Miguel Ángel Superman López. The newspaper El Tiempo explains that the Colombian climber, recent winner of the Tour Colombia and the Volta a Catalunya, has everything to fight for the Giro. "The present of the Colombian cyclist is exceptional. Although the most difficult for Lopez will be in the time trials, this year he was second in the Colombian national CRI championship and that means he has improved in that aspect. We'll see what happens, but without a doubt Superman, who has two podiums in the last two editions of the Giro, he looks like a favorite."
LatinAmerican Post | Freddy Gonzales
Translated from "Allí viene el Giro de Italia, aquí los detalles de la primera 'grande'"