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The sport's two biggest races, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France have a rivalry as fierce as any you might find between the sports top racers. The Tour de France has incumbent power, because it is well, the Tour de France. However, the Giro reliably creates routes that are instilled with the unpredictability, drama, and passion that only Italians are capable of.
In 2020, the two races are going in somewhat opposite directions. The Tour de France has created a route comprised of short, dynamic stages, with a sole time trial finishing atop Planche des Belles Filles.
The Giro in contrast has put together a more traditional grand tour route with three individual time trials, and long drafting-friendly stages. This is presumably to lure top racers away from the Tour de France on an Olympic year.
The Olympic road race lies a mere six days after the conclusion of the Tour de France. This is an extremely short turnaround, but it is not entirely unprecedented. 2012 also saw a six day turnaround between the Tour and the Olympics. However, traveling from Paris to London is far less taxing than traveling from Paris to Tokyo. Factor in the time change and you begin to wonder how a rider could possible race the Tour de France, then arrive at the Olympic road race with winning legs.
With the difficult Tour de France parcours and the short turnaround, the Giro seemed to make a very intelligent and calculated move to create a race that would be very appealing to riders targeting the Olympics two months later.
However, the strategy does not seem to be panning out for the Giro. The 2020 course looked tailor made for Tom Dumoulin, yet his new Jumbo-Visma team is sending him along with the team's two other grand tour principals to the Tour in a grudge-match style assault on Team Ineos.
Alejandro Valverde has confirmed that he will race the Tour, with the caveat that he will likely quit the race early to give himself recovery prior to the Tokyo Games.
The Giro's biggest coup thus far has been locking down Peter Sagan for his first participation.
Below you will find a working list of the sport's top riders and their provisional intentions surrounding the two grand tours.
Tour de France
|Richard Carapaz||Egan Bernal|
|Remco Evenepoel||Geraint Thomas|
|Romain Bardet||Chris Froome|
|Simon Yates||Adam Yates|
|George Bennett||Julian Alaphilippe|
|Vincenzo Nibali||Thibaut Pinot|
|Jakob Fuglsang||Tom Dumoulin|
|Peter Sagan||Primoz Roglic|
|Tejay Van Garderen||Steven Kruijswijk|
|Rohan Dennis||Nairo Quintana|