The last time we updated the odds for the 2017 Giro d’Italia (the 100th edition of the storied race) was back in November. A lot has changed since then. Most notably, Nairo Quintana has thrown his hat into the ring, opting to go for the Giro-Tour de France double. It’s a risky decision for the Colombian and it means that his fellow Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde is no longer a main contender for the Maglia Rosa.
How this affects his chances at the Tour de France remains to be seen, but for now Quintana is the favorite coming into Italy.
The Giro starts on May 5th, which is still a long way away, but for the most part the major teams have already decided on who will be on the start line. Here’s an updated look at the main contenders.
Odds for Giro d’Italia 2017 Maglia Rosa:
Nairo Quintana: 7/3
Quintana will definitely struggle with the two individual time trials at the Giro, but he’ll make up for it in the high mountains. With Chris Froome opting out of the Giro, it will be hard to find a rider that can follow the pocket-sized Colombian up the grueling climbs.
The final stage is a tough time trial, but he’ll be hoping to go in with a decent lead, and everyone’s legs should be pretty fried by then.
Vincenzo Nibali: 5/1
Winning the Giro this year would have special significance for Vincenzo Nibali. Italians would love to see a fellow countryman win the 100th edition of the Giro, and the race passes through Nibali’s hometown of Messina.
He’s not exactly the climber that Quintana is but he’s a more well-rounded rider and a better bike-handler. He’ll be looking to make up for the time he loses on the climbs in the time trials and the descents. He left the star-studded Astana team this year and is riding for Bahrain–Merida, where he’ll finally have the full support of his team.
Fabio Aru: 11/1
Fabio Aru often played second fiddle to Nibali when the two rode for Astana; but now, with Nibali gone, he has the full backing of his team. The young rider from Sardinia is in a similar situation to Nibali; he’ll be looking to win both for himself and his country.
He’s a great rider but his form is somewhat inconsistent. He came second at the 2015 Giro, albeit a very distant second to Alberto Contador.
Mikel Landa: 12/1
Mikel Landa is another former Astana rider in the mix. He made the switch to Team Sky but has since been fairly disappointing. He rode alongside Aru at the 2015 Giro D’Italia, and if he had been given permission to ride for himself, he probably would have ended up in second.
The absence of Chris Froome allows Landa to make full use of the Sky train, which will give him a huge advantage.
Tom Dumoulin: 16/1
The time trial-heavy route of the Giro is perfect for Tom Dumoulin. If the time trial specialist can hold on to the climbers leading up to the final stage, then he can snatch the victory in the final time trial. It’s not going to be an easy feat for Dumoulin, but in recent grand tours, he has shown himself to be a halfway-decent climber.
Photo credit: Simone Bandener [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.