We’re five stages into the 100th edition of the Giro D’italia (May 5th – 28th) with most of the sprint stages behind us and the high mountains ahead. So let’s take a moment to preview the favorites for the King of the Mountains (KOM) classification.
Unlike the General Classification (GC) and the Points classification, the KOM classification doesn’t really have a clean-cut group of favorites. The classification can be turned upside-down by GC contenders looking to gain time in the mountains or on unexpected breakaways.
But with that in mind, let’s try to narrow the list down to five KOM contenders to look out for. Here are the odds!
Odds to win Giro d’Italia King of the Mountains Classification
Omar Fraile (Dimension Data): 3/1
The 2015 and ’16 winner of the Vuelta a España Mountains classification is the hot favorite for this year’s Giro. Currently, he’s snapped up eight points, which puts him at eighth place. Fraile raced the Giro d’Italia last year and wore the maglia azzurra for a stage, but he ultimately dropped out of the race.
Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team): 5/1
Cult favorite Pierre Rolland has picked up a few stage race KOM classifications, but never at a Grand Tour. Rolland is more well-known for his performances at the Tour de France, but he’s recently criticized the Grand Tour for its predictability.
The battle for the Mountains classification is arguably less competitive at the Giro, so maybe this is his chance to pick up a Grand Tour jersey.
Nairo Quintana (Team Movistar): 10/1
Quintana is seeking the pink jersey at the Giro, but he’s also a favorite for the blue. However, the last time a rider snapped up both was in 1998 (the one and only Marco Pantani). The Mountains classification may not be his first priority, but if he finds himself in the high mountains with a chance to attack, we may see him raking in the points.
Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates): 10/1
Jan Polanc is the current Mountains leader after a courageous solo breakaway in stage 4 that saw him take the win. With 43 points, he’s accumulated almost twice as many as second place. But it’s still very early in the race, and the real test will come in the final week.
Polanc took a stage win at the Giro last year and wore the blue jersey for a few stages, but ultimately couldn’t hold onto it.
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data): 20/1
Last year, Teklehaimanot famously became the first rider from an African team to wear the polka dot jersey (Mountains Classification) at the Tour de France. He also won back-to-back Mountains classifications at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2015 and ’16.
This year at the Giro, he wore the blue jersey for a couple of stages before handing it over to Polanc. He’s currently second in the standings with 23 points.
Photo credit: Roxane King [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]