Giro d'Italia

US Pro Roundtable: Don’t expect a miracle comeback in this grueling Giro d’Italia

Chad Haga and Joe Dombrowski are holding up just fine, while Joey Rosskopf reveals his pick for the overall.

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The Giro d’Italia is nearing its finale, and we have been covering every angle of the Italian race here on velonews.com. As an added bonus, there are still a handful of American riders in the Giro d’Italia, and they have been lending us their expert perspective to help shed light on the event and all of its glorious trappings.

We have questions about the Giro, and our pro riders have the answers. So, every day throughout the Giro we will roll out a new Pro Roundtable, with expert perspective from the top U.S. pro riders.

As far as grand tours go, how has this one been going for you?

Chad Haga: It’s been going quite well. I’ve had good form and good motivation and a real solid team with me as well. I knew from the training and the races I did before I came into this race that I had good form. My big question mark was really just a matter of how long it would last. I only had 13 race days total this year before the Giro, and my longest stage race was four days, so I wasn’t certain how three weeks would go. But it’s gonna be okay, I think.

Joe Dombrowski: Well, I would say that the start was not bad for me. I was missing the race rhythm a bit on the first days, but stage five and stage nine were a bit more decisive and I found myself in the front group and feeling comfortable, so things were going well. But I had a lot of bad luck in the second week, so I am just hoping to put that week behind me and have a good final few stages, and just take it day by day. I wouldn’t say it has been my best grand tour by any means. But every day is a new opportunity, so it can change quickly.

Do you see a final-hour comeback, similar to what Froome did in 2018?

Chad Haga: No, not really. I don’t see that happening. Froome was at least steadily improving in that Giro, and this year, there has been nobody on that arc. Everybody came in hot and was trying to hang on. And we are seeing some guys falling off faster than others.

Joe DombrowskiVincenzo Nibali has not look super thus far, but we saw that in 2016, even though people pretty much wrote him off,  that he turned the race upside down on stage 20 and came away with the win. He is a cagey racer and really consistent. And it is his performances in the third week where he really shines. So I would not write him off. But for me, if I had to put money on it, I would say that Kelderman is my pick.

Who do you see as the winner?

Joey Rosskopf: I have no idea who is going to win or what is going to happen in the final stages. Obviously, I haven’t even been close to the GC guys on any of the final climbs, so I can’t say much about how the tactics are going to play out. But if I can be a fan from inside the race, what I hope happens is Tao Geoghegan Hart wins, without putting too much pressure on him. That would be fantastic — a kind of an upset — and maybe something that a lot of people would want to see happen some day. That’s what I am hoping for, from a fan standpoint.