Enough General Classification talk! We’ve already spent enough time covering the odds for the Maglia Rosa. So let’s turn our attention to the Points Classification, or as it will be known this year, the Maglia Ciclamino. That’s right, say goodbye to the red jersey. This year the sprinters’ jersey will be cyclamen (a fancy shade of purple).
The Points jersey belongs to the sprinters, and this year, we have an interesting selection of young and old to choose from.
So with only a couple days to go, let’s take a look the favorites for Points Classification of the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia (May 5th-28th).
Odds to win 2017 Giro d’Italia Points Classification
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): 3/1
The young Colombian has made his mark on the world of track cycling, and now he’s here to take over the Grand Tours.
The 22-year-old is best known for his back-to-back wins in the Omnium event at the World Championships, but he’s also proved himself to be an amazing road sprinter. So far this year, he’s already picked up stage wins at Vuelta a San Juan, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Volta ao Algarve.
What Gaviria lacks in experience, he makes up with raw talent. He’s one of the most exciting young riders in cycling today, and he starts the Giro as the Points favorite.
Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo): 5/1
The 28-year-old has kept the sprinters’ jersey on Italian soil for the last two years, winning it in both 2015 and ’16. Despite the accomplishment, Nizzolo has never actually won a sprint stage at the Giro. Instead, it’s his consistency that sets him apart.
A win this year would place Nizzolo on an exclusive, all-Italian list of riders to have won the sprinters’ jersey in three consecutive years. That list includes Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Saronni and Mario Cipollini.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal): 7/1
When it comes to a pure sprint, there are few riders who can go toe-to-toe with Andre Greipel. The German behemoth has claimed a whopping 21 Grand Tour stage wins over the years and one Points Classification victory.
However, due to his size (he’s not called “The Gorilla” for nothing), he tends to struggle when the gradients start to rise. It’s not rare to see him drop out once the peloton takes to the high mountains. If he can hold on this year, he’ll have a great shot.
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott): 7/1
Australian hopeful Caleb Ewan swept the Tour Down Under this year, picking up all four sprint stages at the event and out-sprinting Peter Sagan on three occasions. Then, he went on to win a stage win at the Abu Dhabi Tour, out-sprinting the likes of Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel.
But that was all very early in the season, and the Grand Tour sprinters were still in the early days of their season preparation. The Giro will be the first real test for the 22-year-old, and from what we’ve seen so far, it’d be foolish to underestimate him.
Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): 15/1
Sam Bennett will be riding for the revitalized Bora-Hansgrohe team built around current world champion Peter Sagan. But while Sagan prepares for the Tour de France, Bennett will be the team’s points rider for the Giro. It’s a chance for the team to iron out the kinks before Sagan takes to the stage, but who knows, Bennett could definitely pull out a few surprises.
Photo credit: Equipo Ciclismo Coldeportes [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]