High-flyer Tadej Pogacar, Germany’s top sprinter Phil Bauhaus and the big comeback of Maximilian Schachmann: The Giro d’Italia, which begins on Saturday in Turin, gives hope for a climbing show by the Slovenian cycling superstar and German stage victories.

Although the second largest national tour in the world is peppered with fewer meters of altitude than in the past, it should still be a spectacle.

Start, finish, TV broadcast. What are the key data of the Giro?

The starting signal will be given on Saturday in the suburbs of Turin, and on May 26th the winner will be decided after 3,400 kilometers in Milan. A little less than 45,000 meters of altitude have to be overcome. The Giro hasn’t been this flat for a long time. For comparison: in the last two editions there were always over 50,000 meters in altitude. Eurosport will broadcast the tour for several hours every day with pre- and post-reporting. The broadcast is available online via the Discovery platform.

What’s in it from a German perspective?

The plan was different. Lennard Kämna should contest the Giro as co-captain of Bora-hansgrohe, Emanuel Buchmann in a kind of free helper role. Everything turned out differently. Kämna is recovering from his serious fall and has just been transferred to a hospital in Hamburg. Buchmann took himself out of the race due to a dispute with the team management and was not nominated.

That’s why Maximilian Schachmann is back. After two difficult years due to illness, the former German champion is on the way back to his old strength and is taking part in his first major national tour since the Tour 2022. Florian Lipowitz is also there, who just achieved his breakthrough with third place at the Tour de Romandie. The 23-year-old is scheduled to help captain Daniel Martinez and is primarily expected to learn.

Stage wins are still possible. Phil Bauhaus is taking part for the third time, and his team Bahrain is relying on the Bocholt native in the mass sprints. The 29-year-old made it to the podium three times in the last Tour, and he is hoping to score his first stage win in a Grand Tour at the Giro. And then there is Simon Geschke. The experienced rider had hoped to be able to ride the Giro again in his last year as a professional. The Berlin-born rider is guaranteed to try to break away.

What are the key stages?

The queen stage was scheduled for the Sunday before the final week. On the 15th day of the race, 5400 meters of altitude have to be overcome between Manerba and the almost 2400 meter high finish in Livigno. However, things get exciting on the sixth stage to Rapolano terme, when three sectors with a total of twelve kilometers of gravel road have to be mastered in the last 50 kilometers. A day later there is a 40.6 kilometer long individual time trial, with the last 6.6 kilometers going uphill. There should be longer time intervals here.

Who beats Tadej Pogacar?

Tadej Pogacar is serious. The Slovenian won three of his four races this year, and now the Giro and the Tour are to follow in July. “He is 25 years old and we believe he is ready for it. He is the best driver I have seen in my career. So it is time to tackle the double,” said Pogacar’s sports director Joxean Matxin Fernandez. The last time the double was achieved was by the late Marco Pantani in 1998. In total, only seven drivers made it.

Only defect or illness can prevent Pogacar from lifting the “Trofeo Senza Fine” in Milan. Competitors like Geraint Thomas, Ben O’Connor, Romain Bardet, top talent Cian Uijtdebroeks and Martinez simply lack the level. Normally it’s only about second place.