Aussie Focus

Aussies to look out for at the Giro d'Italia

There will be eight Australians competing at the 2021 Giro d'Italia, including last year's runner-up at the Italian Grand Tour, Jai Hindley (Team DSM), and top sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

Jai Hindley (L) and Caleb Ewan will both be in action at the Giro d'Italia

Jai Hindley (L) and Caleb Ewan will both be in action at the Giro d'Italia Source: Getty / Getty Images

The 2021 Giro d’Italia will be broadcast live on SBS VICELAND and live-streamed on SBS On Demand from Saturday, May 8. You can also catch up anytime on SBS On Demand.

It's a good field of Australians present at the starting line for the Italian event, with Ewan expected to be one of the top sprinters, while Hindley will be one of the top contenders in the mountains.

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)

The Australian sprinter has had a solid, if at times disappointing, start to the 2021 season.

In every sprint where the Australian has gotten an opportunity, he looks to be sprinting really fast, arguably the fastest man in the world at present. 

The issue has been his leadout train, as pointed out by Cycling Central's Jamie Finch-Penninger in the article below.

The pint-sized Aussie will head into the race with Jasper de Buyst and Roger Kluge as his main leadout men, while he will likely share leadership of the squad with Harm Vanhoucke, who has displayed fine form in the mountains this season.

Jai Hindley (Team DSM)

Hindley's performance last year at the Giro was a surprise, perhaps not a shock given the West Australian's trajectory in recent years in the climbing ranks, but few were tipping Hindley to finish second at the start of the three weeks. 

He burst clear of the pack of contenders with a series of top performances on the hardest mountain stages of the race, and held the lead into the final stage, a time trial around Milan, but ceded the lead to Tao Geoghegan Hart. 

His form in 2021 hasn't quite recaptured that amazing showing, but he was just behind the best climbers at the Tour de Alps. Unfortunately, he crashed out there when in a strong position and didn't finish the race.

Chris Hamilton (Team DSM)

Hamilton will be riding in support of Hindley and he appears to be coming into some good form in what will be an important race for the young Victorian.

Hamilton is coming to the end of his contract this year, his fifth year with Team DSM, and will be keen to put in a good showing to secure a deal with his current team or another for 2022 and beyond.

He's a very good climber on his best days, but is a bit more built for the shorter, punchier climbs than the really long ascents.

He experienced some 'weird leg pain' before pulling out of the Tour de Romandie earlier last week. Hopefully that's not an issue for Hamilton going forward.

Michael Storer (Team DSM)

The Australian has been quietly going about his business in the WorldTour and has had some good results from mountain breakaways.

His third on Stage 11 of the Vuelta last year and third again on a stage of the Tour of the Alps showed that a win may not be far away, though he'll likely have to ride for the likes of Hindley and Romain Bardet during most of the race.

Like Hamilton, Storer is off contract at the conclusion of the 2021 season and will want to show his wares to prospective employers.

Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange)

Schultz was a little short of fantastic at the recent Tour of the Alps.

He was the last man for race winner Simon Yates on the mountains, and then still had enough in the tank to finish tenth overall on the general classification to back up his third overall earlier in the year at the Coppi e Bartali.

Schultz developed as a cyclist on the steep climbs of the Basque region in Spain so he won't be fazed by even the hardest climbs at the Giro d'Italia.

Tanel Kangert and Mikel Nieve have long histories of being top tier riders in the mountains, but the Australian will likely be Yates' right-hand man in the mountains.

Michael Hepburn (Team BikeExchange)

After coming into the squad as a green recruit, Hepburn has matured and is now one of the most experienced riders for the Australian squad.

The time trial is still his best event, but he'll be useful on a lot of terrain as he keeps his team leader out of trouble.

Callum Scotson (Team BikeExchange)

A rider with a massive motor, Scotson will likely be seen policing the front of the peloton in the early parts of each and every stage to keep an eye on Yates' interests. 

Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange)

The reigning Australian national champion will be very visible in the peloton in the green and gold bands after his dramatic victory in Buninyong to defend his title.

The all-rounder will likely be the captain on the road and also one of Yates' key riders across a lot of different terrain.

Meyer's days of being a mountain climber up there with the best in the world are likely behind him as he focuses on the build-up to the Olympics on the track, but he'll likely be there until the elite climbers really get going each climbing stage.

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5 min read
Published 6 May 2021 at 12:07pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS