After going through the first week of the Giro without a hitch, Romain Bardet confirmed his status as an outsider on this Tour of Italy. And some think big for him.
The honors are linked for Romain Bardet. Winner of the Tour of the Alps last month, the Auvergnat was also awarded for his chivalrous gesture during Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Caught in the collective fall which occurred about sixty kilometers from the finish, the Frenchman got up without damage but had come to the aid of Julian Alaphilippe in the ditch rather than resuming the race.
But the best is perhaps yet to come for the native of Brioude. After eight days of racing, the DSM rider is already in the Top 10 in the general classification and is in contact with the other favorites, Simon Yates, Richard Carapaz or Richie Porte. ” He passed without incident this first week. He wasted no time, he even set a very good time. He feared the day following the rest day with the arrival at the top of Etna, but it went very well even if there was no big skimming “, thus confided Nicolas Fritsch for Eurosport
“We saw him at ease in the leading group, well accompanied by his teammate. For the moment, for Romain Bardet, everything is going very, very well”, he added, even considering that this Giro could be “the chance of a lifetime to win a Grand Tour” . And the former FDJ rider to clarify his thinking. “There is neither Roglic nor Pogacar, it offers more chances when the two Slovenian ogres are not there”, he recalled, adding: “For Bardet, which I find interesting compared to previous years, he is fulfilled, he smiles, everything is going well for him, he has done a great preparation. Why not see it in pink in Verona. »
A victory for Romain Bardet at the Giro would be the first for a Frenchman since 1989 and the coronation of Laurent Fignon and the first for a rider in a Grand Tour since 1995 and the triumph of Laurent Jalabert on the Vuelta.