While some team buses would have been filled with lively music, celebratory champagne and a sense of accomplishment at the end of this Giro d’Italia, others would have seen a much quieter, sombre atmosphere. It was a race to remember for the likes of Bora-Hansgrohe and Groupama FDJ, but for teams such as Israel-Premier Tech, it was a Giro verging on disaster.
Taking into account individual stage results and overall finishing positions, we rate the performances of each team across the three weeks of racing around Italy, ascertaining who can leave the race satisfied and who should be concerned about their position after the first Grand Tour of the year.
Bora-Hansgrohe - 9/10
Bora came away with the pink jersey after a near perfect team performance throughout this year’s Giro d’Italia. Now without Peter Sagan as their talisman, the German squad looks to be entirely reinvented as a GC team who have the manpower and consistency needed to control a three-week race. Wilco Kelderman, Emanuel Buchmann and Lennard Kämna were loyal domestiques to race winner Jai Hindley throughout La Corsa Rosa, with Kämna’s stage win atop Mount Etna and Hindley’s victory on Blockhaus an added reward for their efforts. Not only have Bora-Hansgrohe now got their first ever Grand Tour win, they have also firmly asserted themselves as a team who can challenge the likes of Ineos Grenadiers in crucial mountain stages.
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux - 8/10
Biniam Girmay’s stage win in Jesi will go down in history as one of the defining moments of this year’s Giro d’Italia. The Eritrean rider became the first black African to win a stage in a Grand Tour as he out-sprinted Mathieu van der Poel at the end of a challenging and attritional stage.
While Girmay represents the young talent that Wanty have in their ranks, the team’s second stage win came from the experienced 31-year-old Jan Hirt, who took a solo victory in Aprica’s “wine stage.” Thirty-nine-year-old Italian Domenico Pozzovivo also put in a strong performance for the team, finishing 8th on GC in the end after battling through the mountains to stay in contention for a top-10 place overall. With the variety of riders who can perform on a range of terrain, Intermarché is quickly becoming one of the most exciting teams in the peloton.
Alpecin- Fenix 7/10
While it doesn’t show when looking at the final GC, Alpecin-Fenix were animators of this year’s Giro d’Italia. Mathieu van der Poel set the bar high with his explosive stage one victory and continued to impress throughout the race with a further three podium finishes – even getting in the breakaway in stages that weren’t particularly suited to his strengths.
Van der Poel wasn’t the only rider to impress from the Belgian ProTeam, either, with Dries de Bondt taking the biggest win of his career so far in Treviso when he out-sprinted his breakaway companions and Stefano Oldani taking an emphatic stage win in Genova. While Mathieu van der Poel may be the star of this team, Alpecin-Fenix have strength in depth and showed that in this Giro d’Italia.
Team BikeExchange - Jayco 7/10
Things had never looked so good for BikeExchange during the opening days of this Giro. Simon Yates’ surprising stage two win in the time trial catapulted him to the forefront of the GC favourites, but things quickly took a turn when he lost contact with the front group on the way to Blockhaus on stage nine, struggling to battle the hot weather the peloton faced that day.
Yates’ second stage win on stage 14 went a little way to redeeming his performance on Blockhaus, but the GC damage was already done. A win by Italian national TT champion Matteo Sobrero in the final time trial made it three stage wins for the team in this year’s race, a respectable performance from the Australian squad, but from a GC perspective, there’s more work to be done.
Koen Bouwman was the standout rider for Jumbo-Visma in this year’s Giro, taking two stage wins over the three-week race. His first came in stage seven after an exemplary display of teamwork as Tom Dumoulin helped him to victory. His second came on the summit finish of stage 19 after a day in the breakaway. Consistent results from the team’s youngster Gijs Leemreize also contributed to a solid overall performance, but for a team with the clout and budget of Jumbo-Visma, we’d expected to see a little more from them this Giro.
Astana Qazaqstan Team 7/10
Vincenzo Nibali’s announcement of his retirement at the end of this season made this year’s Giro an especially important one for the Shark of Messina. His fourth place finish on GC was a result of some impressive dedication from his teammates to help Nibali as far as they could into the hard mountain stages, but Astana lacked a little punch when it came to animating the stages themselves.
Groupama - FDJ 8/10
Arnaud Démare had a close to perfect Giro d’Italia this year, taking home three stage wins and the maglia ciclamino for his French team. Groupama nailed their leadout train for the flat stages and it paid off, proving that placing full focus on one goal, rather than trying to split the team between sprints and GC, can pay off in terms of results at the end of a Grand Tour. It looks like this Giro has shown Démare returning to the top of his game and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Frenchman can do for the rest of the season.
Seeing Thomas De Gendt take victory on stage eight around the streets of Napoli delighted cycling fans worldwide. A breakaway specialist who has had a few quiet years, De Gendt is a popular rider who proved that tactical nous can be as important as physical strength. The team’s Belgian climber Sylvain Moniquet also performed well on the stage to Etna, finishing in fourth place atop the mountain. These two results combined create a solid Giro d’Italia for Lotto Soudal.
Israel-Premier Tech 2/10
For a team with a big budget and status, Israel-Premier Tech had a disappointing Giro d’Italia. They came with a team tailored towards leading out their sprinter, Giacomo Nizzolo, and managed to deliver him to third place on stage five in Messina. That was as good as it got for Nizzolo who did not start the race on stage 14, leaving his teammates to battle round a hilly Giro d’Italia and make up the numbers in the grupetto.
UAE Team Emirates - 6/10
While UAE Team Emirates secured one impressive stage win with Alessandro Covi on the queen stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, we can’t help but think this is a team which could have come away with more. Fernando Gaviria finished on the podium in three of the race’s sprint stages, clearly with the form to fight for the win. If his leadout train had been slightly better and more polished there’s a chance that the Colombian fast man could have helped the team take multiple stage wins and even the maglia ciclamino home at the end of this year’s race. The team weren’t helped by their GC hopeful João Almeida having to leave the race following a positive Covid-19 test, either.
Trek - Segafredo - 8/10
Juanpe López and Trek-Segafredo’s valiant battle to hold on to the maglia rosa over nine stages makes this team one of our favourites in this year’s Giro. They took on the responsibility of protecting López throughout the race, riding on the front to control the stages as necessary. Though they lost pink on stage 14 to Torino, López came away with the white young rider’s jersey in this year’s race after a whirlwind Giro for the young Spaniard. Giulio Ciccone’s stage 15 win also points to the strength in depth in this team who can come away from the race feeling satisfied with their collective performance.
Movistar Team - 4/10
It was a disappointingly quiet Giro d’Italia for Movistar, a team full of climbing talent which we would have expected to excel over the tough Italian mountains. Alejandro Valverde rode consistently for a GC position to finish 11th overall, a respectable result for the Spanish legend in his final season of racing. The likes of Antonio Pedrero and Jorge Arcas secured some top-five finishes on stages but Movistar failed to really make their mark on this race.
Team DSM - 7/10
Alberto Dianese won Team DSM the majority of their points in our rating with his eye-wateringly-strong sprint on stage 11. The quick moving Italian produced a stunning turn of speed to take victory by a big margin – in sprinting terms – after a solid lead out from his teammates. Twenty-two-year-old Thymen Arensman is another of DSM’s young riders who impressed this Giro with a second place on the final time trial in Verona. To produce such a ride after three tough weeks of racing proves that the Dutch rider is one to watch for the future.
AG2R Citroën Team - 4/10
Perhaps the most impressive thing about AG2R at the end of this Giro d’Italia is that they finished with their full contingent of eight riders in a race which saw many retire due to crashes or illness. Other than that, we can’t find much to get excited about when it comes to the team’s performance. Andrea Vendrame was the standout rider with an impressive five top-10 finishes on various stages but he flew the flag alone for AG2R who have more work to do if they want to make a mark this season.
EF Education-EasyPost 6/10
Hugh Carthy was the standout rider from EF Education-EasyPost this Giro, catapulting himself into a number of breakaways in his hunt for stage wins and a top-10 position on GC. Carthy was impressively determined throughout the race, but he lacked some support at times from his teammates in the high mountains. Magnus Cort also animated stage 18 from the breakaway and finished in an impressive fourth place on the opening stage in Budapest, but the team missed out on any stage wins this year.
Bardiani made their presence known in the breakaways as usual this year, but not just for TV time, with true intent on making an impact on the stage results. Davide Gabburo finished second to Thomas De Gendt on stage eight in Napoli and Alessandro Tonelli finished third on stage 19. For a ProTeam, Bardiani actually had a very impressive Giro d’Italia: they secured multiple top-10s and should have left the race satisfied.
Bahrain - Victorious 8/10
Bahrain-Victorious won the team classification in this year’s Giro d’Italia which is decided by an accumulation of the overall time of each rider throughout the three-week race. When looking at the final GC, their victory in this competition isn’t surprising: Mikel Landa finished on the podium and Pello Bilbao wasn’t far behind in fifth place. Add in a stage win and 12th overall for the team’s 22-year-old Colombian climber Santiago Buitrago and it was a pretty solid Giro for the team in red.
Ineos Grenadiers 8/10
Richard Carapaz missed out on the overall victory in this year’s Giro, but this can’t be blamed on the performance of the team behind him. The Ineos Grenadiers rarely made a mistake throughout the race, apart from perhaps underestimating Jai Hindley and the form he was in. They supported Carapaz well day after day, defending the pink jersey until the penultimate stage in the way they have done so well for years. Hindley was simply the stronger rider in the end, but it was still a team performance to be proud of for the British squad, though they will be leaving the Giro disappointed not to be going home with pink.
Cofidis - 4/10
Sprinter Simone Consonni was the only rider to really make himself seen from the Cofidis squad in this year’s Giro with his third place in the bunch kick stage 11. Aside from Consonni, there’s little to be said about Cofidis’ performance this year and there isn’t much to celebrate for the French team who have work to do if they want to keep their WorldTour status going into next season.
Twenty-six-year-old Lorenzo Fortunato’s 15th place finish on the overall GC at this year’s Giro is a respectable result for a rider who comes from a small team on a wildcard invite to this year’s race. In terms of individual stage results, Vincenzo Albanese’s third place on stage 10 to Jesi behind Biniam Girmay and Mathieu van der Poel was a breakthrough performance for the punchy sprinter who looks to be improving each race this season.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl 6/10
Things started off well for this Belgian squad when Mark Cavendish sprinted to a dominating victory in Balatonfüred after being dropped off by leadout man extraordinaire Michael Mørkøv. When the Danish rider left the race due to illness, though, it spelled the end of Cavendish’s success and he was unable to win another sprint in the race. The team was present in breakaways afterwards, with Mauri Vansevenant especially determined to get a good result, but they didn’t come away with the number of wins usually expected of the team.
Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli 5/10
Gianni Savio’s Drone Hoppers showed themselves this Giro d’Italia in the way they know best: by getting into the breakaway as much as possible. It didn’t lead to any significant results for the team but we feel they warrant a decent score just for the amount of effort it takes to get into a breakaway that is almost certain to fail and for the fact they gave the commentators something to talk about on the quieter stages.