OPINION | A look back at the 107th edition of the Giro d'Italia, from Pogacar's victory to the biggest surprises

Now that the 2024 Giro d'Italia is over, many are looking back. We've read a bit about everything, we've heard a bit about everything and we've come to a conclusion. There are a thousand and one opinions and only one is consensual: we're clearly talking about Tadej Pogacar, undisputed winner of the Giro.

In collaboration with CiclismoAtual's Carlos Silva, we take a look into a few key points of the race that has ended this past Sunday where, throughout three weeks, there has been a lot of action and exciting racing in all terrains.

Giro d'Italia 2024 retrospective

Carlos It was a Giro d'Italia that went as planned. I liked the way the organization laid out the route this year, not as demanding as in previous editions, which could have opened up the fight for the general classification to another level. We didn't have any real opponents for Pogacar at the start, but the fight for the podium places and the rest of the Top 10 could have been more fierce. The race lacked emotion. Pogacar was a step above the others, but we expected a more attacking race from them and in my opinion, they were too conservative;

Rúben The race had the expected outcome with Pogacar's victory, but it was far from dull. Pogacar saved energy in certain stages, but attacked decisively when necessary, and even surprised with unexpected attacks. The race for the podium and the Top 10 remained wide open, and I particularly enjoyed the competition for the secondary places in the Top 10, which featured newcomers to the Grand Tours and lesser-known riders fighting for top positions. The start of the Tour, with Jhonatan Narváez winning the first stage and Pogacar/Thomas attacking in the third, provided a start full of surprises that set the pace of the race.

OPINION | A look back at the 107th edition of the Giro d'Italia, from Pogacar's victory to the biggest surprises

The key moment(s) of the race

Carlos The first time trial. Seeing Pogacar take the last 7 kms in a devastating way, leaving his direct opponents in the fight for GC minutes away. Then he took the final blow in the 15th stage where he attacked and put even more minutes into the competition, ending the discussion of the fight for the Pink Jersey once and for all, if it ever really existed.

Rúben With such a dominant victory it's hard to specify where it was won. Pogacar was shoulders and head above his rivals. Perhaps most decisive was his victory on stage 15 where he impressively gave away minutes to the rest and flew at high altitude on a very mountainous day - where he sometimes doesn't come across so well.

The biggest revelation

Carlos Giulio Pellizari filled me up. He was a complete unknown to me and I foresee great things for this kid.

Rúben Georg Steinhauser. There are several cyclists who deserve to be mentioned, but if I had to choose one, it would undoubtedly be the German. From a relative unknown to me, he turned into a climber and Grand Tour rider of great quality.

OPINION | A look back at the 107th edition of the Giro d'Italia, from Pogacar's victory to the biggest surprises

From whom you expected more, but were disappointed

Carlos Laurence Pithie. I expected a lot more from the FDJ rider, but... nobody saw him.

Rúben There weren't huge expectations of a lot of people, and the expected were out in front. Juan Pedro López broke down completely in week two and Romain Bardet was rarely at his level. Perhaps those were the most negative.

The best sprinter

Carlos Milan. Jonhatan Milan. It's true that Tim Merlier also cleaned up 3 stages like the Lidl-Trek man, but there are 2 sprints that he doesn't win by chance and not because the others were better. I remember the sprint in which he loses his train, is covered up and out of the top 10 already in the last 350/400 meters and... what power!!! He finished second, it's true, but that sprint was devastating, I can't remember seeing anything like it for a long time. Brutality.

Ruben Jonathan Milan without a doubt. Yes, Tim Merlier won 3 stages too, but Milan would have won even more if it hadn't been for the escape on stage 5... But he was more consistent and the 1900 watts of power we've been told are scary. On a par with Jasper Philipsen when it comes to the sprints at the moment, and possibly the new best in the world.

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The best young rider

Carlos For me it was Georg Steinhauser of EF Education-Easypost. He had a great last week, winning a stage, placing third in two other stages and finishing the Giro third in the fight for the mountains jersey. He's 22 years old and let me tell you that he has an engine that never seems to run out. Very smooth and consistent.

Rúben Giulio Pellizzari deserves a mention but I'm going to say Valentin Paret-Peintre. A pure climber, the old-fashioned way, and what he has done in some stages (with special attention to stage 20) is of an incredible level that I never expected despite the fact that he has been surprising all year.

The most controversial moment

Carlos The confusion generated by the weather conditions on the 17th stage. Those meetings, the he-said-she-said, with accusations and some not so nice words. If there's no safety, you don't do it. Cyclists are human beings, not pets at the service of the organization. In the end, the unity of the men in the peloton who refused to be puppets (they didn't ride the first 5 km of the stage on their bikes as the organization and the local mayor wanted) was fundamental so that, even though they were in Italy, we didn't go back to Roman times ... It's not about arm-wrestling, it's about common sense.

Rúben The Stelvio situation. It looked obvious for weeks that the climb couldn't be ridden. Still Umbrailpass was an alternative. I think that, albeit sad, the situation wouldn't have developed into absolute chaos if it wasn't for the organization's insistence in racing in whichever way possible. Likely a fruit of recent years' situations, but still what you could call a 'shitshow'.

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The best climber

Carlos The Slovenian from UAE Team Emirates was far and away the best: Tadej Pogacar

Rúben Pogacar. No need to explain, a level above the rest

What's missing from the Giro to make it Tour-level?

Carlos I think the Giro d'Italia is tougher than the Tour de France, quite frankly. What will they be missing? Good question. If the organization had the answer, it would have already put it into practice. However, I think it all comes down to one word: money. The sponsorships, the exposure, the media coverage. The Tour de France has always been considered the icing on the cake for any cyclist and I don't think that will ever change. It's a shame to say it, but it's reality.

Ruben I don't think there's anything missing, honestly, there's just more attention on the Tour because of its history and reputation. Often the Giro provides better action. I don't think that's going to be the case this year, but what's missing is the "general population" being exposed to the race in the same way as the Tour.

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