Are the Aussies dominating this year’s Giro?

May 19, 2014
Are the Aussies dominating this year’s Giro?

Are the Aussies dominating this year’s Giro?

Australia continues to show its exceptional road racing pedigree at this year’s Giro d’Italia. As the race enters its tenth stage (173km from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme) the Aussies have taken to the podium, or taken the winners’ jerseys, day in-day out.

Orica-GreenEDGE asserted dominance on day one with the green, white and blue kits sprinting to victory in Belfast’s Team Time Trial. Birthday boy Canadian Svein Tuft was given the pink jersey – or maglia rosa - to wear, which was then handed over to his team mate Michael Matthews after a cracking ride the following day.

Michael joined the professional road race cycling team in 2013. His rise in the cycling world has been nothing short of meteoric, and he’s proven himself an incredible asset for Orica-GreenEDGE during the Giro so far.

In fact Michael’s story in a sense represents that of his team’s; the new young guns of cycling establishing themselves incredibly quickly and incredibly proficiently on the world stage. Orica-GreenEDGE’s confident riding in the beginning of the Giro saw the team lead the peloton through many stages, a feat especially impressive given the incredible volume of spills to date. They might now be dogged by injury and illness (Michael Matthews had a significant crash in stage 9, the same stage during which Luke Durbridge came down with illness, whilst earlier Brett Lancaster suffered a broken hand and Cameron Meyer pulled out due to illness), but our home-grown team has shown they mean business.

Indeed the first third of the Giro was Orica-GreenEDGE’s glory stage. Michael remained in the coveted pink from Stage 2 through to and including Stage 7, before ceding the General Classification lead to Australia’s Cadel Evans (BMC).

Cadel’s win, well over a third of the way into the 21-stage Grand Tour, fuelled rumours that have circulated for months; the Giro is the 2014 race in Cadel’s cross-hairs. The 37 year old and 2011 Tour de France winner now has a mammoth task – to stay in pink as the race prepares to enter the mountains.

Tomorrow and Wednesday will see two medium mountain stages (172km and 249km respectively), two flats (Tuesday – 173km and Friday 157km) and an individual Time Trial of 41.9km on Thursday. But from Saturday onwards, sprinters will give way to mountain goats as the peloton moves up into the Alps, and some of the world’s most gruelling climbs surely begin to wreak havoc on the leader board.

Cadel knows it’s still a long, long way until the Giro races into the ultimate finishing line in Trieste. Holding onto the pink now through to the end is almost the stuff of legends, and Cadel is reticent to single out any individual who could end his fight for pink. Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Rigoberto Urban (who placed second in last year’s Giro, which saw Cadel take third) is surely one to watch, though? The Colombian was born and bred in the mountains and loves nothing more than long climbs of 2,000 to 2,500m elevation.

History tells us it’s still anyone’s for the taking, but we’d love to see an Aussie take the fight for pink down to the line.


Aussie success stories so far from this year’s Giro d’Italia:


Stage nine – 172km, Lugo – Sestola

Orica-GreenEDGE’s Pieter Weening wins first place.

BMC’s Cadel Evans wins the Pink Jersey.


Stage eight – 179km, Foligno – Montecopiolo

BMC’s Cadel Evans wins the Pink Jersey


Stage seven – 211km, Frosinone – Foligno

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins first place in stage seven, and wins the Pink Jersey, blue Jersey and White Jersey


Stage six – 247km, Sassano – Montecassino

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins first place in stage six, and wins the Pink Jersey, blue Jersey and White Jersey


Stage five – 203km, Taranto – Viggiano

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins the Pink Jersey and the White Jersey


Stage four – 112km, Giovinazzo – Bari

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins the Pink Jersey and the White Jersey


Stage three – 187km, Armagh – Dublin

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins the Pink Jersey and the White Jersey


Stage two – 219km, Belfast, Ireland

Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews wins the Pink Jersey and the White Jersey


Stage one – 21.7km, Belfast, Ireland

Orica-GreenEDGE wins the Team Time Trial in Belfast, Ireland. Team member Svein Tuft wears the pink jersey


What do the different colour Jerseys mean?

Maglia Rosa, or Pink Jersey: Inspired by the colour of the Giro d’Italia founding sponsor, Gazzetta dello Sport, it is worn by the rider at the top of the leader board.

Maglia Rossa, or Red Jersey: Worn by the rider to accumulate the most number of points during the intermediate sprint and stage finishes.

Maglia Azzurra, or Blue Jersey: Worn by the fastest climber in the race.

Maglia Bianca, or White Jersey: Worn by the rider under the age of 26 with the lowest aggregate time on general classification.