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It’s here! Issue 1 of Il Giro Sette, the exclusive ‘zine dedicated to all things rosa, taking you on a magical mystery tour of Italy adjacent to the main one being undertaken by our 176-man strong peloton.

First things first – the racing. It’s been three days of ups and downs and unsurprisingly, the man from Slovenia has been front and centre on all three days, despite the range of profiles that stages 1-3 have offered us.

Stage 1 set the tone with infernal pace-setting from UAE Team Emirates, and the GC field already being scattered in its wake along the roads of Piedmont. It was a thrilling stage, with an ever-increasing tension cranked up in line with the gradually increasing difficulty in the climbing challenges, with the Colle de la Maddalena inflicting some early wounds on the hopes of a number of GC hopefuls – the main casualties being Romain Bardet and Thyman Arensman.

A breathless fight for the line saw two unlikely names battling it out with one Most Likely To, and though he didn’t win the stage, Tadej Pogačar struck an early blow on the GC, snatching precious time and bonus seconds to put himself in the driving seat. He missed out on the stage win though; that went to Ecuadorian national champion Jhonatan Narvaez, whose perfectly executed plan unfolded to see him storm to victory and claim the first maglia rosa. An unexpected appearance from Max Schachmann added a layer of intrigue.

A disappointed Pogačar is perhaps the most dangerous kind. Stage 2 began on a velodrome, and the day was all about getting back on track for Pogačar (sorry) and saw a return to script, with the opportunity afforded by a summit finish. Even a puncture and a fall from his bike could not dent the Slovenian’s single-minded pursuit of pink; his team were faultless, pacing him back on after his fall at the foot of the climb and storming right through to the front, where Pogačar launched. While a group of GC favourites tried to tag along, he was able to open up some space and put half a minute between himself and the rest, taking owning of the leader’s jersey, an item he will be hard-pushed to relinquish over the next couple of weeks.

After the early stages already saw the grupetto in action, the grupetto’s turn came on stage 3, with the first of the flat stages, and there was a reversal of fortune as grupetto became leading group, on a day of two halves which saw a stately pace set by the resting bunch in the early part, following by all hell breaking loose later on as somehow, nearly all of the sprinters ended up in a giant breakaway, which the rest of the peloton were forced to chase back down. Cue a straightforward sprint finish after that, just like it was supposed to be, right? Wrong. The final was far from an easy run-in, with some climbing late on and when Mikkel Honore of EF Education-EasyPost decided to try his luck at a late break, Pogačar saw it as an excuse to rip up the script and head off in search of glory. As the second serious GC contender on the road, Geraint Thomas dutifully followed him and there followed a breathless chase toward the line in which it seemed genuinely possibly that one of the three might win the stage – until the charge of the sprinters and their teams brought them back into line.

Cue a straightforward sprint finish – yes, it did transpire in the end, and Tim Merlier proved that he’s the fastest man on the flat this year by taking the second Giro stage win of his career, a win which he dedicated to the late Wouter Weylandt.

Giro #107

Jump in and enjoy our homage to the number 107… it’s like Sesame Street but with bike riders. Let’s begin with those riders who finished in the hallowed position 107, on stages 1-3.

Rider 107 - by Rémi Massart 

Stage 1

And our first 107th of this Giro is…….. Manuele Tarozzi!

The Italian rider was born on the 20th of June 1998, in the city of Faenza, south of Bologna. His cycling adventure did not start at a professional level and Manuele stayed in the amateur team of EmiliaRomagna until 2021. At the age of 23, after a fourth place on the third stage of the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec gave him a chance and included him in the team as one of the trainees as from the 1st of August 2021. Without a contract from the team of Gianni Savio, Manuele officially started his professional career at the beginning of 2022, with another Italian team: Bardiani-CSF. His first year among the professional peloton was quite difficult for him but, in 2023, he showed his great capabilities by winning the Mountains classification in the Vuelta a San Juan but above all his first and only professional win, on the 7th stage of the Tour of Rwanda. Winning solo at the summit of Mont Kigali was a great performance for Manuele, who showed his climbing capacities to everyone. This year, Tarozzi has shone on Spanish roads, with the incredible 1-2 of his team on the first stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, where he finished behind his teammate Alessandro Tonelli after spending the day in the breakaway. This performance along with the Mountains classification in Settimana Inter Coppi e Bartali convinced his team to trust him for the Giro, his very first Grand Tour. We should see Manuele Tarozzi at the front of the race during these three Italian weeks where he may reveal himself to the cycling World.

Stage 2

Yes Tadej Pogačar beat everyone on the slopes of Oropa, but it is not what really matters! The race for 107th: that is something with suspense!

Today, it is Jenthe Biermans who won our challenge for Arkéa-B&B Hotels. The Belgian rider was born in Geel, next to Antwerp, on the 30th of October 1995. He began at continental level in 2014 at the age of 20, joining the Development team of Giant-Shimano. He spent only a year there before joining SEG Racing, recording some great results such as two second places in a row on Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in 2015 and 2016. These results allowed him to become a trainee in Wanty-Groupe Gobert at the end of 2016 before signing his first World Tour contract with Katusha-Alpecin the year after. During the three years spent in the Swiss team, Jenthe did not win but he participated in his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, in 2019, recording a top 10 on the 5th stage. After the end of Katusha, the Belgian joined Israel Start-Up Nation where he stayed for three years, posting his greatest result yet, a top 5 on Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in 2021. Last year, Jenthe joined Arkéa-Samsic, where he finally tasted victory. Indeed, he started the year amazingly by winning the Muscat Classic in February before raising his arms once again on the roads of Luxembourg in September. This year, the 28-year-old has won once, on the Route Adélie de Vitré. He also achieved three other podiums in one-day races in France and Belgium before being at the start of his third Giro. For the next three weeks, Jenthe Biermans had been designated as the sprinter of his team, so we should see him taking part in bunch sprints, hoping for top 10s.

Stage 3

The third day in Italy, this time it is the rider with the name the all the commentators struggle with who finished 107th: Roel Van Sintmaartensdijk.

Roel was born on the 8th of May 2001 in Zuidland, Netherlands, meaning that he will celebrate his 23rd birthday in two days, on the Giro roads. After some nice results in his club Willebrord Wil Vooruit in his junior years, he joined the continental level with VolkerWessels. He spent two years there, winning a few races such as a prologue in the Tour of South Bohemia and the youth classification in the Olympia’s Tour after an amazing performance of his team. Last year, he joined Circus-ReUz-Technord, which is the Development team of Intermarché-Wanty. The best result of his season was his win on the last stage of the Tour of Brittany, that allowed him to take part in some races with the World Tour team. In 2024, Roel was officially signed by Intermarché-Wanty, becoming one of the tallest riders in the peloton at 1.97m – the only man taller than him at this 107th Giro is Daan Hoole, who was born in the same city!

Roel is a very good time-trialist but he is also capable of succeeding in bunch sprints, especially as a lead-out. His main objectives for the Giro, apart from (obviously) the 107th classification, will be to help Biniam Girmay to win a stage and to continue learning, in his first Grand Tour. 

Rider 107… Nick Schultz!

The official writebikerepeat adopted rider of this Giro is the rider who wears the race number on his back… it’s Israel-Premier Tech’s Nick Schultz!

So, how has our Aussie favourite been faring over the first three days of the race? I’ll tell you how. After an impressive 33rd place finish on stage 1, Schultz hasn’t topped that yet and currently sits 59th on GC, just 10:41 down on Tadej Pogacar. A modest but not unimpressive start to a Grand Tour. Plenty of time yet.

What happened at km 107?

It’s stage two in our arbitrary mission to see if numbers mean anything at all. What happened at km107 on Stage 1? The peloton catch up with two of the drifting members of the early break on an uncategorised climb. Stage 2 saw the bunch pass through the feed zone with 54km to go… and on stage 3, some clothing changed hands between two DSM riders as they headed through the narrow streets of a small Italian town. An increasingly interesting mystery is unravelling, if you look hard enough...

Preview 107


A third category lump in the road should not deter the sprinters as the race heads to Andora (not the country) on stage 4 – the descent of Capo Mele could be troublesome. A similar profile on stage 5 might see a carbon copy of the previous two stages, though the late climb could offer hope to a determined rider searching for a breakaway win. Stage 6 should once again be for the fast men, though a punchy uncategorised climb just over 3km from the finish line may be a stumbling block for some, or could serve as a launchpad for others. Basically, watch out for Pogi, daily.

Throwback Thursday Monday

Mathieu Fraisse takes us back to memorable stage wins by number… let’s go!

Stage 1 | 2022 : Budapest - Visegrád (195km)

Every Giro should start with a bang, right? 

Let’s start this series with a throwback to not-so-long-ago: 2022. Hungary hosted the Grande Partenza in Budapest and the set for our first iconic win: Visegrád Royal Castle. An ascent of 5 kilometres at 5%, perfect ingredients for a puncheur-fest! 

Death, taxes and a Bais brother in the break. Pretty basic Giro stage action you would say, but the passion of Hungarian fans and the final ascent really made this one iconic and worth the wait. I promised you a bang, and here it comes!

Caleb Ewan’s train eventually caught the break; this type of finish really could suit the Pocket Rocket. Lawrence Naesen lit the first firework, quickly followed by Lennard Kamna with 2.5kms to go. The speed was too fast and this final ascent too hard for pure sprinters, like Cav, Démare or Dainese. 

Kamna was caught by the bunch under the Flamme Rouge. Ulissi, Villella, Cort Nielsen? Caleb Ewan had also survived! But look! On the right side of the road! 

IT’S A BIRD? IT’S A PLANE? No, it’s Mathieu van der Poel! A trademark combination of power and speed from the Flying Dutchman who takes the win on his Giro d’Italia debut. To top it off, Biniam Girmay takes second place on his first ever Grand Tour start! 

Van der Poel heads up to take pink at the 2022 Giro (image credit: Wikimedia commons)

Stage 2 | 1968 : Campione d’Italia - Novara (129km)

The winner takes it all

This stage was won by a 23-year old Belgian you might have heard of: Eddy Merckx.

There is nothing iconic at all about the stage in itself, besides Merckx winning it, but from a historical point of view, it is iconic on so many levels.

Giro 1968 was the second time Eddy Merckx took on the race, having previously finished 9th and won 2 stages in 1967 on his Grand Tour debut (and Anquetil Giro farewell). Despite his young age, he had already won a number of one-day races but never a Grand Tour.

Funnily enough, this stage started in… Campione d’Italia! An omen? After winning this stage, Merckx went on to claim his first ever maglia rosa. He eventually wore it 76 more times during his career and won the Giro 5 times – a record!

Giro 1968 was really Merckx's first Grand Tour masterpiece. Not content with only winning the Giro and its iconic maglia rosa, he also claimed maglia azzurra (King of the Mountains) and ciclamino (sprints), really living it up to his nickname ‘The Cannibal’.

Back in 1968, this stage was just the win of a very talented young Belgian rider on his way to win his first Grand Tour ever. The rest… Well the rest is history!

Stage 3 | 2010 : Amsterdam - Middleburg (224km)

Wouter Weylandt, a tribute

This stage had echelons.

Evans, Cunego and Sastre lost 46 seconds. Wiggins lost 4 minutes. Simoni and Pozzovivo lost 8 minutes. Vinokourov took maglia rosa. And Wouter Weylandt won the sprint.

Stage 3 of 2010 Giro was the last World Tour win of Wouter before tragically passing away in the same race, a year later. He was only 26.

Sometimes, it’s not just about cycling anymore. It’s bigger than just a bunch of guys riding a bicycle for 200+ kilometres and who wins at the end. It’s about remembering people, how they impacted this sport and their stories. That’s what makes the beauty, and tragedy, of the sport we all love. 

Gone but not forgotten. Giro bib 108 for ever. Wouter Weylandt ❤️

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

I Magnifici Sette

by DJ Momo

Giro 2024 Playlist - Stage 1, 2 & 3

Stage 1: This year’s Giro kicked off with a banger of a stage, eh?

To start off the race I’m throwing in some Sahara Hotnights, because “Here’s my fist, where’s the fight?” feels like the appropriate theme for the day. And how about that final 5km, eh? Jhonny Narvaez getting stuck in and gritting it out with the main favourite of everything Giro2024 and taking the stage and first maglia rosa
for Ineos and Equador, showing that Pogačar can be beaten from time to
time, maybe hinting at there being potential for departures from the
expected script for the race, maybe even the preview for some New Rules
for this year’s Giro racing…

Stage 2: The second stage, ending at the Santuario di Oropa, which caused Visma’s DS Marc Reef to make a dedicated attempt at a Dutch Eurovision inspired joke about going up the Europapa with the European champ Laporte, as seen in a clip
shared on Instagram before the stage.

Once the stage moved along it seemed like the pre-determined script of expectations was reinstalled, No Surprises with how the stage played out, though especially Piccolo showed himself so Small & Strong (yes, it’s a name joke, deal with it!) and an unfortunate puncture and small crash for the later stage winner.
Congratulations Tadej Pogačar; You Win Again! And commiserations to Ben O’Connor especially, who tried SO hard to follow Pog’s wheel, but In The End it didn’t do him any good. But kudos for bravery and grit anyways!

Stage 3: It started off slow, but today’s stage ended up matching the format of Björk’s iconic It’s Oh So Quiet… Soothing and slow and mellow - until it wasn’t! After the intermediate sprint it seemed like 80% of the peloton’s sprinters decided to say Let’s Go and kick off in an exhilarating pursuit race that amped up the intensity and entertainment value of the stage like a few afternoon espressos. I can’t understate how much joy this new generation of sprinty Young Guns and their “F*** it, let’s go for it and race!” attitude brings me, cause it is frankly THE BEST on days like today!

And then… While the song in question should be reserved for La Vuelta, it seems
like there’s a few Loca People in the peloton in Italy too, including but not
limited to the two guys at the top of the GC… Because WHAT THE F**K was that
finale? Pure madness, that’s what.

But despite the chance for a Pogačar/Thomas madison race all the way to the line looking fully plausible at some point, Tim Merlier is, if anything, Just A Man With A Job, and that job is winning Grand Tour stages at the earliest given opportunity in each 3-week race he pins a number on for… Chapeau Tim, and here’s to even more exciting sprint stages like today’s!

Giro 'Duos'

By Sam Mould

After an exhilarating stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia, the Astana Qazaqstan Team has surged ahead, leaving Bora-Hansgrohe trailing by a mere 36 seconds in the new Giro Duo's format. The dynamic duo of Lorenzo Fortunato and Alexey Lustenko showcased their strength and teamwork as they conquered the challenging terrain and fierce competition.

Animals of the Giro

We begin with dogs of the Giro - first up this rock star doggo.

And a stunning cameo from Miss Mia Ganna!

But while it's a far cry from the stray dog that caused Remco and more to crash in last year's edition of the race, it would still be good if we could avoid this...

Social Media Antipasti

The best of team social media from the past three days.

It's not all about the World Tour teams. Here are Polti Kometa to prove that the conti level teams can also bring the noise.

EF's tongue in cheek post-Met Gala fun ahead of stage 4 wins the first issue's social media prize, though.


(Italian for 'brainteaser')

Each bulletin we will try and bring you something to test your brain power. A little puzzle to mull over any time the action isn’t full gas in Italy.

The first of these is a selection of anagrams. Here are four riders who are riding this year’s Giro. Can you unjumble the letters and figure out who is hiding here. 10 Bonus points if you can work out what connects them.

Mr Villa Hen Cage

Sloth Are Prophetic

Hi I Pull A Jape Lapin

Japed Goat Car

Vital Statistics

With all this talk of the number 107, it's time to look at who's in position 107 on the general classification - and it's Laurence Pithie of Groupama-FDJ! Now while this doesn't bear any significance to the race itself, it's a good excuse to talk about Pithie, who has had a remarkable season so far. He won his first pro race at the Cadel Evans Road Race earlier in the year, and has achieved a number of podiums and top tens since, including coming 7th at Paris-Roubaix - 7th... think about it... coincidence? You decide.

Join us again for more fun, facts, and irrelevant nonsense in Issue 2 on Thursday!

Il Giro Sette is brought to you by DOLAN Bikes.

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