Giro 2024: Preview of favorites young people classification – What can Cian Uijtdebroeks do?


Thursday May 2, 2024 at 7:00 AM

In recent years, Grand Tours have all had two timed classifications. In the Giro d’Italia one is of course the battle for the pink, for the general classification. The other is the battle for the white, for the youth classification. Which future (or even current) world top players have the best chance of achieving this in Italy in the next three weeks? CyclingFlits looks ahead!

Last ten winners
2023: Joao Almeida
2022: flag-es Juan Pedro López
2021: flag-co Egan Bernal
2020: flag-gb Tao Geoghegan Heart
2019: flag-co Miguel Ángel López
2018: flag-co Miguel Ángel López
2017: flag-lu Bob Jungels
2016: flag-lu Bob Jungels
2015: flag-it Fabio Aru
2014: flag-co Nairo Quintana

Last year

Almeida won in white on Monte Bondone – photo: Cor Vos

The title of last year’s preview was ‘How much of a lead does Remco Evenepoel win?’. The world champion started off energetically with a time trial victory and thus also the pink and white. In the fourth stage he deliberately gave up both jerseys to Andreas Leknessund, but after the second time trial Evenepoel regained both jerseys. However, that was short-lived, because the Belgian gave up that same evening due to a corona infection. João Almeida then took over the white jersey and the Portuguese – who competed for the overall victory until deep into the final week – would not relinquish it.

Final standings youth classification 2023
flag-nr1 flag-pt João Almeida (UAE Emirates) in 85h30m17s
flag-nr2 flag-nl Thymen Arensman (INEOS Grenadiers) in 4m50s
flag-nr3 flag no Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) in 6m16s
4. flag-co Einer Rubio (Movistar) in 9m28s
5. flag-be Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal-Quick-Step) in 10m43s
Full final score


All riders born on or after January 1, 1999 are eligible for a classification in the battle for the white. This means that riders up to 25 years old have a chance to win a nice bonus.


For many riders with ambitions to win youth classifications, 2024 is a great year. This is the first season that Tadej Pogačar is too ‘old’ for this ranking. Although the 25-year-old Slovenian is still only 25 years old, he was built in 1998 and therefore, according to the rules, Pogačar is no longer able to compete for the overall victory in this classification. Since Remco Evenepoel is also not at the start, there is a unique opportunity for some other boys to experience a tribute on the final podium after a big round.

The biggest contender this year drives for INEOS Grenadiers. Thymen Arensman would be the first Dutchman ever to win the youth classification in the Giro. It is also his last chance for the 24-year-old tour rider, but he has earned his status as a top favorite. The youngster has already finished sixth in a Grand Tour twice (once in the Vuelta a España, when he also won the queen stage, and last year in the Giro). Earlier this preseason he also finished fifth in the Volta ao Algarve and sixth in Tirreno-Adriatico. Although he is just below leader Geraint Thomas, it would not surprise anyone if Arensman oversteps his team leader.

Luke Plapp, like Van der Poel, dares to wear the white trousers – photo: Cor Vos

Normally the third week is always the best for the Dutchman, but this coming Giro will be less difficult than normal. So it has to happen sooner and that is why INEOS Grenadiers sent him to the Tour de Romandie last week. His former teammate also rode there Luke Plapp. The 23-year-old double champion of Australia is joint leader of Jayco-AlUla and can have his own chance in a big tour for the first time. Plapp initially showed up strongly in Romandie, but had to retire in the fifth stage. However, his sixth place in Paris-Nice and his time trial qualities make him a formidable opponent for Arensman.

Judging from the preparation races in the run-up to the Giro, we cannot ignore it either Antonio Tiberi to. The 22-year-old round talent is one of the few bright spots in dark days for the Italian classification ambitions, after Vincenzo Nibali retired. Among the juniors, Tiberi was one of the best in the world and became world time trial champion in Yorkshire. At the age of 19, he made his professional debut in 2021 and that is why his breakthrough took a while (also thanks to the cat incident). After an eighth place in the Tour of Catalonia and third place in the Tour of the Alps, Bahrain Victorious now makes him the leader.

Question marks around Uijtdebroeks – photo: Cor Vos

Finishing in the top ten in all five stage races in the final rankings. You would sign for less as a 20-year-old talent. Still did Cian Uijtdebroeks – now 21 years old – that last season. Four of those races were at WorldTour level, which makes the performance even more impressive. And the last one was even in a Grand Tour. On his debut, the Belgian top talent immediately finished eighth in the Vuelta a España. After the tumultuous transition to Visma | Lease a Bike from last winter, it would only be logical if it were to receive more stars now. But the Dutch team is going for stage victories and the time trials also speak against Uijtdebroeks. Or not?

Florian Lipowitz – photo: Cor Vos

When the ‘draft preview youth classification Giro d’Italia 2024’ for the Tour de Romandie was created, the star distribution looked slightly different. Florian Lipowitz was not included there, for example. But the 23-year-old German really came out on top in the Swiss round and was perhaps the best uphill. Nine seconds kept him from the overall victory. There is a special story attached to this young man. After all, five years ago he was still a great talent in biathlon. Someone then put him in touch with his current team BORA-hansgrohe and that turned out not to be a slip-up, but a bull’s eye.

Can Piganzoli also cheer in the Giro? – photo: Cor Vos

It is not often that a team that participates on the basis of a wild card expresses clear classification ambitions. They do that at the Polti-Kometa of team bosses Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador (together good for four Giro overall victories). In addition to a stage victory and competing for the mountains classification, they also hope to reach the top 10 in the general classification. If you are able to do so, you are also automatically eligible for the youth jersey. That is, assuming they want to achieve that result with the 21-year-old Davide Piganzoli. Just like Tiberi, he is one of the young talents who – with strong results – wants to follow in Nibali’s footsteps.

Zana won a stage last year, this year Eddie Dunbar and Plapp are ahead of him in the pecking order – photo: Cor Vos

So far the star distribution has been easy to fill in. But fairness dictates that the last four names for this ranking are actually free to enter. We’re going to divide it anyway. To start with Filippo Zana, the ex-Italian champion. The climber turned 25 last March, but after some great results as a final-year promise in 2021, he has not really been able to continue that trend. However, last year he rode strongly and crowned that with a beautiful stage victory on Val di Zoldo, in the Italian tricolore. They will never take that away from him again. But since his overall victory in the Tour of Slovenia in June last year, Zana has been struggling.

The similarities with brother Aurélien are unmistakable – photo: Cor Vos

Someone who could surprise us during this Giro Valentin Paret-Peintre. The 23-year-old French flyweight (1.76 meters tall and only 52 kilos) is starting his second Giro. He has been a professional since 2022 and it was not easy in his first two seasons. This year, however, he comes through and hitches a ride on the flow which includes his team Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale anyway. The climber already finished eighth in the Tour Down Under this year and recently fourth in the Tour of the Alps. The youngster made an impression there, but the question is whether he has a free role. His leader and podium candidate Ben O’Connor and his older brother Aurélien Paret-Peintre are also in top form.

Mauri Vansevenant made a good impression during the Ardennes classics – photo: Cor Vos

In Belgium they have opened up a whole bunch of climbing talents in recent years. Remco Evenepoel, Ilan Van Wilder, Maxim Van Gils and Lennert Van Eetvelt are examples of this. But also Mauri Vansevenant is part of that. The 24-year-old farmer’s son of former professional (and several times red lantern in the Tour de France) Wim has been convincing among the pros since mid-2020 and almost won the Tour of Oman last year. His absolute breakthrough seemed imminent, but a nasty knee injury threw a spanner in the works. This spring he was there again with strong performances in the hill classics. In the Giro, however, Vansevenant is aiming for stage victories and competing for the white does not seem to be for him.

Pellizzari: top or flop? Who knows? – photo: Cor Vos

The Italians have a third trump card for future round work. It is immediately the youngest of the three: the 20-year-old Giulio Pellizzari. Last year he finished second in the Tour of the Future behind Isaac Del Toro and in mid-April he impressed in the Tour of the Alps. The youngster – who will drive for BORA-hansgrohe next year – finished eighth in the final rankings. He is making his Giro debut and given his age it is unlikely that he will immediately ride a hell of a race. But of course what is good comes quickly in cycling. Pellizzari can prove us wrong. Outsiders for this ranking are Giovanni Aleott Kevin Colleoni, Marco Frigo and Ewen Costiou.

Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Thymen Arensman
*** Luke Plapp, Antonio Tiberi
** Cian Uijtdebroeks, Florian Lipowitz, Davide Piganzoli
* Filippo Zana, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Mauri Vansevenant, Giulio Pellizzari

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Tags: Giro Preview favorites young people classification Cian Uijtdebroeks


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