Giro d’Italia 2022
The Giro d’Italia is the second biggest stage race after the Tour de France and is a particularly special event for die-hard cycling fans. Every year the race winds its way through spectacular green countryside with rolling hills, along cypress-tree-lined streets, through quaint villages and famous wine regions, past major historical landmarks and along the beautiful Italian coastline overlooking sand and sea. But most importantly, the route takes the cyclists into the mountains to race on the steepest, most beautiful and most iconic mountain passes that the country has to offer. And spectators won’t be able to watch without dreaming of Italy’s fine wine, first-class cuisine and excellent espressos the whole time. This is exactly what enchants fans year after year. There’s a good reason why the race’s slogan is always ‘amore infinito’ – infinite love.
BORA – hansgrohe / veloimages.com
BORA – hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto
BORA – hansgrohe
Giro d’Italia: a potted history
The Giro d’Italia was first staged in 1909, starting and ending in Milan and covering eight stages and 2,448 km. Out of the 127 cyclists who started the race, only 49 crossed the finish line. It’s a race with a long tradition. Its first race was a promotional campaign for the Italian sports newspaper ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’, following the Tour de France model. The newspaper still exists today and is the reason why the jersey for the leader of the general classification has had its unique pink colour since 1931. The coveted jersey is known as the ‘maglia rosa’ in Italian. There are three other classifications that are also awarded with a jersey: the points classification, the mountains classification and best young rider classification. Unlike the Tour de France, these special jerseys have changed colour several times throughout the history of the Giro d’Italia. Today the best climber dons the blue jersey while the leader of the points classification wears the cyclamen-coloured jersey, the ‘maglia ciclamino’. The best young cycling (U25) is awarded the white jersey.
The 2022 edition
This year’s Giro d’Italia kicks off outside Italy for the 14th time in its history. Originally planned for 2020, this route will start in Budapest, and the first three stages will take place in Hungary. The second and last stages are individual time trials, while in true Giro style, the intervening stages chock-full of mountain climbs. The road book covers a total of 3,437.6 km with 50,610 m elevation gain across all 21 stages. The route will take the riders up Mount Etna as early as the fourth day. It then gradually makes its way north towards the Alps, where the cyclists must overcome challenges such as the infamous and brutal Passo del Mortirolo. The Giro’s ‘Cima Coppi’ is the 2,239 m high Passo Pordoi in the majestic Dolomites, which competitors will climb on the penultimate day. Seven flat stages give the sprinters the opportunity to show who has the edge in the fight for points. In short: all the ingredients are in place for an exciting Giro d’Italia before the winner is crowned with the pink jersey in the Arena di Verona.
The BORA – hansgrohe lineup
Thirty professional cyclists from 14 different countries in one team. After all: teamwork makes the dream work in cycling. Even though only one of them can be the first over the finish line, winning is a success for the whole team because you can’t win in cycling without domestiques who provide slipstreams, grab water bottles, keep the competition at bay and lead out the sprinters in the sprint.
Teamwork is a top priority in the BORA – hansgrohe team; it’s how the team has constantly developed, improved and become more successful. The team started in the third division in 2010, still under the NetApp team name, and was evolving and getting better all the time until it was promoted to the first division in 2017. Just two years later and with a total of 47 victories under its belt, the team advanced to the second-best team in the WorldTour division. The idea that the team will rest on their laurels is unthinkable; they have lots of plans for the future. The squad was reshuffled, with 11 new riders joining, giving the team an even more international profile. The team is evolving to focus its skills more on stage races and consequently on general classification specialists. Winning a Grand Tour is still the long-term goal, and BORA – hansgrohe will once again field a strong team in the Classics, one-day races and sprint stages.
This year, 22 teams with 8 riders each will start at the Giro d’Italia. There are sprinting specialists, strong climbers and great all-rounders. Emanuel Buchmann, Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley will be racing for victory in the general classification. You won’t find a sprinter in the BORA – hansgrohe lineup for this race as the team’s sights are firmly set on the mountain stages and the resulting podium in the general classification.
Emanuel Buchmann turned pro at BORA - hansgrohe and over the years ‘Emu’ has established himself as one of the best tour riders in the world. He usually doesn’t say much; he prefers to let his actions do the talking and show just what he’s capable of on the bike. In the 2019 Tour de France, he was only a few seconds off making the podium thanks to his tremendous consistency over 21 stages in Paris. A crash forced him to abandon his promising race at Giro d’Italia 2021. That makes him all the more driven for 2022!
Jai Hindley joined the team in the 2022 season. Right from the off the Australian proved his mettle, showing his impressive skills as a tour cycling captain and as a pacemaker for his teammates on mountain climbs in his first races. He rose to prominence at Giro 2020 where he came second, demonstrating just what potential he has. His favourite music is hip-hop, and he loves to tuck into a vegetarian curry after a strenuous training session. He is also a big fan of Italian food, so bring on his fourth Giro! And that’s not all – he will be turning 26 a day before the Grande Partenza. Happy birthday, Jai, and good luck!
The 31-year-old Dutchman joined the team in the 2021 season with a clear focus on the major national tours. A strong time trialist, who also gets on very well in the mountains, has shown his promise with top 10 places in the Vuelta and Giro, occupying third place on the podium in the latter in 2020. He continued to demonstrate his top skills and expertise as a tour cyclist in 2021 by clinching fifth place at the Tour de France. Wilco, who tried his hand at speed skating before cycling, is highly motivated and determined to show his talent at the Giro.
The 22-year-old became a professional cyclist in the team in 2021, but Giovanni has nonetheless already had some notable successes in his career so far: he was the Under-23 Italian champion in 2020, and he finished second in the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir and fourth in the 2020 Giro Ciclistico d’Italia (also known as the ‘Baby Giro’). Both races are generally very highly regarded for talent scouts. He showed just what he’s made of among the pros, winning the Sibiu Cycling Tour in 2021. He loves homemade Italian food, and he is feverishly awaiting his second Giro with great pride and excitement.
The 25-year-old has been on the BORA – hansgrohe team since 2020 and is especially known for his drive and huge fighting spirit. His two younger brothers are also strong cyclists, and the whole Gamper family are very sporty. His mum is a 15-time world skibobbing champion, and Patrick and his brothers also won several youth skibobbing championships. Hailing from Tyrol, the exceptionally tall Gamper loves the tough classics most of all, and he’s a skilled rider in time trials. Es sollte also nur eine Frage der Zeit sein, bis Patrick seinen ersten Profisieg holt.
The 25-year-old from the far north of Germany started to make a name for himself early in his career. In particular it was his skills as a time trial rider battling against the clock that were remarkable, making him junior time trial world champion and under-23s European time trial champion. At just 20 years old, he won the world team time trial championships alongside his teammates and cycling stars Tom Dumoulin and Michael Matthews, to name a couple. It was the stage win on mountainous terrain at the 2020 Tour de France that grabbed the cycling world’s attention, and not just in Germany. Pancake fiend Lennard likes to go all in for mountain stages, and his racing style is bold and offensive. This has given every one of his five wins to date a very special touch.
Ben went pro in 2021 and is one of several BORA – hansgrohe team members to have changed their careers to road cycling. Hailing from the Ruhr, the law student had realised that he could probably achieve more on the road than on his mountain bike. The team management was impressed by his phenomenal performance data, which Ben went on to reinforce with his spectacular results at his first challenging road stage race, demonstrating his climbing skills and proving to be a very valuable domestique. He continued to show these talents in his Grand Tour debut at last year’s Vuelta a España, making him a definite choice to be unfailing domestique for the trio of Buchmann, Kelderman and Hindley.
Cece, as his teammates call him, hails from South Tyrol. Besides his native Italian, he also speaks German, English, French, some Spanish, and if they weren’t enough, Polish too since love brought him to Poland. This means that he can communicate with most of the cyclists in the peloton in their native languages. Cesare was the first cyclist who Ralph Denk recruited to his 2010 line up, a team that was in the third division and known as Team NetApp back then. Cece is one of the best and most loyal domestiques in the peloton. He gives it everything he’s got to help his team; he prefers to stay out of the spotlight. So, you can imagine how wild the cycling world went when this team player par excellence battled to win the 12th stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia. It was the first win in his professional career, and at one of the biggest and most prestigious races in the world. No one in the peloton would have begrudged Cece his win.
Watch our video to find out how our boys have prepped themselves for the Giro with food: