Ag2r La Mondiale 3 / 10
Without either a rider for GC or an elite fast-man for the sprints, Ag2r’s only option was to target the breakaways, which they did so with increasing regularity as the race went on. They never got close to a stage win, however, with Andrea Vendrame’s fifth place on Sestriere the team’s best finish
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 6 / 10
The most combative team of the Giro d'Italia, Androni place a rider in the breakaway on all but two stages, with every single one of their roster representing them at some stage. Although none of them had the quality to win a stage, it was about as plucky a performance as you could hope for from a wildcard team, and Simon Pellaud won the Intermediate Sprint classification as a consequence of his efforts to constantly attack, and Mattia Bais the Fuga reward for spending most time in the breaks.
Astana 4 / 10
A disastrous start saw both Miguel Ángel López and Alexander Vlasov abandon before the race had even reached mainland Italy, and leader Jakob Fuglsang himself endured a torrid time losing time in the crosswinds and to an unfortunate mechanical. His resurgent performance on the Stelvio stage, which saw him lead up to sixth overall, was a teasing indication of what he might have achieved with more luck.
Bahrain-McLaren 7 / 10
Despite bringing a supposedly weaker squad than that which rode the Tour, Bahrain-McLaren impressed a great deal. They targeted breakaways effectively, with perhaps only a ill-timed mechanical standing between Mark Padun and victory on stage 12, before Jan Tratnik delivered victory in the final week, while the one rider retained from the Tour line-up, Pello Bilbao, fought off fatigue from riding back-to-back Grand Tours to remain high on GC throughout and hang on for a career-best fifth-place overall finish.
Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè 4 / 10
The least active of the wildcard teams, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè were dependent on the irrepressible Alessandro Tonelli to give them representation in the breakaways, with the 28-year-old Italian getting up the road on four separate stages. Neither he nor anyone else came close to taking a stage victory, however, extended their winless streak at the Giro to four years.
Bora-Hansgrohe 5 / 10
A Giro that promised much ultimately delivered little for Bora-Hansgrohe. Rafał Majka and Patrick Konrad spent much of the race lurking around the lower realms of the top 10 and failed to rise much higher, with Konrad having to settle for eighth overall, while try as he might, Peter Sagan kept losing out to Arnaud Démare in the sprints. The Slovakian did however manage a masterclass in the hills of Abruzzo to win stage 10 from the breakaway.
CCC Team 6 / 10
Any hopes of a high GC rank faded early on when Ilnur Zakarin lost time in the first week, and was only able to finish fourth when he got himself into the break on the stage to Madonna di Campiglio. But the team’s race was saved a couple of days later by Josef Černý, who built upon the strong form he showed to finish fifth in the stage second week time trial to win from the breakaway on the controversially shortened stage 19.
Cofidis 3 / 10
A crash while going for intermediate sprint points on stage two set the tone for Elia Viviani’s Giro, as he struggled for form just as much as at the Tour last month. Cofidis’ best result was actually recorded by Viviani’s lead-out man, Simone Consonni, who sprinted for fourth on stage 11 after Viviani had been hit by a TV motorbike earlier. They targeted breakaways later in the race, but to no avail.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step 8 / 10
What was supposed to be the inauguration of Remco Evenepoel as a Grand Tour rider instead saw the breakthrough of another major new talent, João Almeida, as the 22-year old Portuguese deputised for the injured Belgian by clinging on to the pink jersey for a remarkable 15 days.
In prioritising the GC rather than the sprints, this was a very different kind of performance than we’re used to seeing from Deceuninck-Quick-Step, but still a very impressive one as they ably supported Almeida, who still managed to finish fourth overall despite cracking on the Stelvio.
EF Pro Cycling 8 / 10
A Giro that began with a whirlwind of publicity as they introduced their new duck-themed jerseys also saw plenty of racing success, too, as early stage wins for both Jonathan Caicedo and Ruben Guerreiro ensured their race had already been a resounding success even before the first week was over. Guerreiro put the icing on the cake by later sealing victory in the mountains classification.
Groupama-FDJ 9 / 10
There were only four bunch sprint finishes at this year's Giro, and Arnaud Démare won every single one. The Frenchman and his Groupama-FDJ train were utterly imperious in the sprints, and, despite the scarce opportunities for pure sprinters, even managed to gain enough points to win the maglia ciclamino, ahead of Peter Sagan no less.
Ineos Grenadiers 10 / 10
Ineos Grenadiers have won a lot of Grand Tours in the past, but never like this. Their race looked in tatters when leader Geraint Thomas crashed out on stage three, prompting them to chase breakaways — and successfully so with Filippo Ganna and Jhonatan Narváez winning stages.
Then, out of nowhere, Tao Geoghegan Hart — aided by some stunning work from Rohan Dennis — launched himself into overall contention with two mountain top finishes at Piancavallo and Sestriere, and spectacularly won the pink jersey on the final time trial in Milan. Add to that Ganna’s hat-trick of time trial victories, which brought the team’s overall tally to an extraordinary seven, and this was in some ways the team’s greatest achievement yet.
Israel Start-Up Nation 6 / 10
Alex Dowsett might not have made much of an impression in any of the time trials, but nevertheless had the legs to ride away from the rest of the breakaway on stage eight to claim a hugely important victory for the team. We didn’t really see much of the team from that point on, with their riders a relatively rare presence in the break, but the good work had already been done.
Jumbo-Visma 1 / 10
Leading the Giro having missed the Tour due to injury, Steven Kruijswijk had a mixed start to the race, riding well in the crosswinds on stage seven but finding himself dropped on the following day’s summit finish at Roccaraso. We’ll never know how he would have fared into the second and third weeks, as a positive Covid-19 test prompted him and the rest of the team to leave the race.
Lotto-Soudal 4 / 10
Without Caleb Ewan Lotto-Soudal’s strategy always looked geared towards the breakaways and, save for a brief flirtation with a top ten GC finish for youngster Harm Vanhoucke in the first week, that’s what transpired. Inevitably, Thomas de Gendt was constantly on the attack, but Brit Matthew Holmes gave the Belgian a run for his money by also going up the road on multiple occasions. Neither managed a stage win, but De Gent was at least awarded the combativity award.
Mitchelton-Scott 1 / 10
Simon Yates was surprisingly dropped on Mount Etna, but his under par performance made more sense a few days later following the bombshell news that he had tested positive for Covid-19. The rest of the team joined him in pulling out of the race when four staff members also registered positive tests.
Movistar 3 / 10
No team were more active in getting riders into the breaks during the final two weeks than Movistar, who often placed two, three, and (on one occasion) four riders up the road seeking a stage win. Their exploits were a matter of quantity over quality, however, as on each occasion, other riders got the better of them, leaving the team empty-handed.
NTT 7 / 10
With the future of the team hanging in the balance, it was vital that NTT’s riders impressed to attract some potential new investors, and initially it seemed as though veteran climber Domenico Pozzovivio was the man to do so. Just as his GC ambitions faded in the final week, Ben O’Connor came into brilliant form, falling just short of victory on stage 16 before storming to a triumphant victory atop Madonna di Campiglio.
Sunweb 9 / 10
The surprise package of the Giro, Team Sunweb appeared on the brink of repeating their overall victory of 2017 when they obliterated the peloton on Piancavallo. Wilco Kelderman’s bad day on the Stelvio and Jai Hindley’s inability to get the better of Tao Geoghegan Hart meant they ultimately had to settle for second and third on GC (not to forget a stage win for Hindley on the Stelvio stage), but that still vastly exceeded the team’s pre-race expectations.
Trek-Segafredo 4 / 10
As the other pre-race favourites one by one dropped out of overall contention, Vincenzo Nibali continued to lurk ominously in the top five, and seemed ideally placed to take pink as the race reached the Alps and Dolomites.
But the predicted attacks and late surge up the classification never came, as the 35-year-old admitted to not having the legs to follow his younger, fresher rivals, leaving him and Trek-Segafredo having to settle with just a seventh-place overall finish and no stage wins.
UAE Team Emirates 8 / 10
Following their Tour de France triumph with Tadej Pogačar, UAE Team Emirates brought no GC contenders but loads of stage winning potential to the Giro, through Fernando Gaviria in the sprint and Diego Ulissi in the punchy finishes. The former might have struggled, and ultimately abandoned after testing positive for Covid-19, but Ulissi was on fire, defeating Peter Sagan on an uphill sprint in Sicily on stage two, and then Almeida from a reduced bunch in Veneto a week later.
Vini Zabù-KTM 3 / 10
The small Italian team bounced back from losing Luca Wackermann to a freak accident involving a helicopter on stage four, with veteran Giovanni Visconti putting in a spirited pursuit of the mountains classification, before abandoning before stage 17. However, their whole race was overshadowed by a doping positive returned by Matteo Spreafico.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Stephen Puddicombe is a freelance journalist for Cycling Weekly, who regularly contributes to our World Tour racing coverage with race reports, news stories, interviews and features. Outside of cycling, he also enjoys writing about film and TV - but you won't find much of that content embedded into his CW articles.
Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder: the pros attend a summer camp unlike any other
Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder: the pros attend a summer camp unlike any other. Mountain bikers Sofia Gomez Villafañe and Christopher Blevins win the five-day stage race in the Cascade Mountains.
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
Best workshop chain tools 2022 rated and reviewed
Seven workshop chain tools tested and evaluated
By Paul Grele • Published