Astana leader, Michele Scarponi, carries the number one dossard on his back and the numero uno on his bike.
The 34-year-old Italian has rolled out as first among equals in the absence of team-mate, Vincenzo Nibali, the Giro’s defending champion, who this year will focus on the Tour de France.
Scarponi is no stranger to inheriting the Giro’s greatest honours. He was awarded overall victory in the 2011 edition after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title.
The Italian, however, is not one who gains any satisfaction from victories by proxy, and has always insisted that El Pistolero was the rightful winner three years ago.
He will bid again for victory in the 97th edition, and will do so aboard Specialized’s new Tarmac. Scarponi’s machine, of course, is the top-tier S-Works incarnation. Let’s take a closer look.