Thomas favourite to continue Giro d'Italia trend - Opta facts for the second Grand Tour of 2020

By Sports Desk October 02, 2020

Geraint Thomas will start as favourite to continue the run of non-Italian winners when the Giro d'Italia starts on Saturday.

Dave Brailsford left Thomas out for the Tour de France, which he won two years ago, and instead targeted Giro glory for the Brit.

Thomas is well fancied to be wearing the maglia rosa for INEOS Grenadiers at the end of the 21st and final stage - an individual time trial from Monza to Milan on October 25.

There will also be a time trial to start what is usually the first Grand Tour of the season, but was put back due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the riders taking a 15-kilometre route from Monreale into Palermo.

Trek-Segafredo's Vincenzo Nibali was the last Italian winner of the prestigious race in 2016 and will be hoping to mount a challenge, but Simon Yates, Steven Kruijswijk and Jakob Fuglsang could provide bigger threats to Thomas.

Ahead of the Giro, we picked out some of the key Opta facts…

6 - The last six winners of the Giro have been from different countries, with Richard Carapaz the latest to continue that trend for Ecuador last year.

2 - The last rider to win the general classification and take more than two stage victories along the way was Denis Menchov in 2009, crossing the line first three times.

9 - Nibali will start his ninth Giro and has finished on the podium in his last six appearances in his home Grand Tour, with two wins in 2013 and 2016.

2011 - The late Michele Scarponi was the last rider to win both the general and points classifications at the Giro back in 2011. That was also the last time a rider won the race riding for a team registered in Italy (Lampre-ISD).

3 - Three of the last five winners of the points classification at the Giro have been Italian riders: Giacomo Nizzolo in 2015 and 2016, Elia Viviani in 2018.

16 - Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro in 2012, finishing only 16 seconds ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez, the smallest margin for a winner since 1974. Five of the last nine editions have been decided by a margin of less than a minute.

1 - Peter Sagan will make his first appearance at the Giro after taking part in the Tour de France nine times and the Vuelta a Espana on four occasions. He has never won any classic races held in Italy.

6 - Kruijswijk has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven Grand Tours he completed, including in two Giro (seventh in 2015, fourth in 2016). However, he is yet to get an individual win in a Grand Tour (excluding team time trials).

20 - Fausto Coppi (1940) is the youngest rider to win the Giro at 20 years and eight months, whereas Fiorenzo Magni (1955) is the oldest, aged 34 years and six months.

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