Who wins the Giro d’Italia and how? We pick our pink jersey favorites

Remco Evenepoel, Primož Roglič, or someone else? Our editorial team picks their favorites for the pink jersey.

Photo: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

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The Giro d’Italia is often the most unpredictable of the three grand tours. The three-week mishmash of brutal climbs, uncertain spring weather, and early season peaks and valleys of form and ambition has delivered surprise after surprise.

Will the 2023 Giro be another one for the history books? Or will the heavily favored Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič dominate the race and tamp down any surprises?

Also read: Giro d’Italia preview: The climbs, the weather, the fans — what’s not to love?

The presence of three relatively long time trials totally more than 70km of racing against the clock might take the air out of the GC fight for some. It could also set up the climbers with the necessity of long-distance, high-risk attacking.

No matter what happens, the Giro is one of the season’s break-out-the-popcorn highlights of the year. So who wins and how? Our editorial team dives in:

Fred Dreier: Stars align for Evenepoel

Evenepoel will avoid bad luck and win. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

My heart says Primoz Roglič, but my head says Remco Evenepoel. I think we all can look at the Giro start list and see that it’s a two-horse race, and on paper, Roglič has the advantage, as he’s won three grand tours and Remco has won just one.

But folks, I feel like Roglič has angered the cycling gods because he’s always on the losing side of luck.

Crashes, punctures, chaos—you name it, some type of calamity befalls Roglič in grand tours of late, which is a huge bummer as he’s one of my favorite riders. He’s a guy who wins seemingly only when everything goes according to plan, and as we all know, nothing ever goes according to plan at the Giro.

There are huge pileups, snowstorms, bad course markings, railroad tracks, etc. Setbacks usually are the end of Roglič. Remco, meanwhile, is young and fit and appears capable of picking up the pieces after a setback.

So, how does this play out on paper? My guess is that the two guys separate themselves early in the race, and they are neck-and-neck coming out of the stage 9 ITT. Then, in the second week, something bad happens to Roglič. Maybe it’s a crash. Maybe he goes the wrong way.

Maybe an asteroid falls from the sky and hits the Jumbo-Visma team bus. I don’t know what will happen, but I feel like disaster will strike, and he will fall out of the GC. And once that happens, he’ll probably drop out of the race entirely. I see Remco winning with a sizable gap over Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Jim Cotton: Roglič rides his luck

Roglič brings the experience and the team, but will he have the horsepower and the luck? (Photo: Josep Lago / AFP / Getty)

Primož Roglič will win pink over Remco Evenepoel by the tightest of margins.

I can foresee Rogo losing maybe a dozen seconds to Evenepoel in the long-time trials of the opening week but keeping himself just about in range in the mountains.

The two will head into the oh-so-brutal final week separated one-two by a whisker, and for once, it’s Roglič that gets lucky.

Some weird and wild twist of Giro carnage befalls Evenepoel – the Belgian misses a turn in the road, gets his raincoat tangled in his pockets in the frozen Alps, or misses a vital musette and blows up on the severest of mountain passes.

Roglič takes his opportunity and moves into the lead with a score of seconds over Evenepoel.

He bends but doesn’t break on the tear-jerker stage 20 mountain TT, and does just enough to claim the maglia rosa.

Sadhbh O’Shea: One more big ride for G

Geraint Thomas was far off the pace at Volta a Catalunya after a long layoff with illness, but optimism never dies. (Photo: JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel are the obvious choices but the Giro d’Italia does love to deliver drama so let’s pick an outsider.

Geraint Thomas hasn’t had the best of luck at the Giro d’Italia in the past, with crashes usually spoiling his GC fight before he’s had a chance to get going, but the Welshman is one of the few riders in the pack that stands a fighting chance against Roglič and Evenepoel in the time trials as well as taking them on in the mountains.

Thomas is unlikely to blow away those two on the steep climbs, but he can ride consistently well in the mountains and that’s probably his best shot at taking glory. If he can keep grinding away at his own pace, then perhaps he can topple Roglič and Evenepoel before Rome.

Andrew Hood: There’s no stopping the RemShow

Remco Evenepoel wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Remco Evenepoel is on a roll. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel has the tailwinds of fortune blowing him all the way to Rome in this Giro.

Something always crazy happens in the Giro, so fortune could spoil the perfect script, but I believe Evenepoel will stay upright and deliver.

Why? He’s full of confidence, mature beyond his years, and his ambitions are boundless. His blowout win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège only served as confirmation that nothing can stand in his way.

Is that enough to beat back the wily presence of Primož Roglič? I think he will win if he doesn’t let his temper get in his way.

Just as Roglič has shown moments of cracking under the pressure, Remco’s naturally flamboyant style and high standards can sometimes backfire on him when things don’t go his way.

And at the Giro, nothing ever goes to script every day.

The biggest question mark for Evenepoel is how he goes on the demands of the Giro’s legendary final week. The Vuelta is more like a three-week version of the Volta a Catalunya. The climbs in Spain are steep, but they’re just not as long or as high. That could be Evenepoel’s weakness in this Giro.

I don’t see anyone in the bunch capable of riding away from both Evenepoel and Roglič, who will watch each other but won’t make the same mistake Roglič and Vincenzo Nibali did when Richard Carapaz came out of nowhere to win the 2019 edition.

Evenepoel and Roglič are evenly matched. Neither has a distinct advantage. I think Evenepoel’s younger hunger will carry the day.

The Giro always delivers surprises. (Photo: Gruber Images/VeloNews)

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