Eddie Dunbar ‘very happy’ as Giro d’Italia heads into toughest stages

Irishman sits eighth overall, 3′40 behind race leader Bruno Armirail

Eddie Dunbar heads into the final six days of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday poised for a huge battle, and satisfied with how things have gone to date.

“I’m very happy with everything so far,” he told The Irish Times late on Monday’s rest day. “I was happy to stay out of trouble last week. Obviously the weather was not super for everyone. So it was a tough week, I think mentally more so than physically.”

This year’s Giro d’Italia has been hit by cold, wet conditions, as well as an outbreak of Covid within the peloton. Dunbar has avoided trouble and sits eighth overall, 3′40 behind race leader Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ). The Frenchman is expected to slip back on the harder stages to come.

Dunbar is two minutes 32 seconds off Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), the best placed of the general classification contenders, and well on track for his pre-race goal of a top 10 overall finish.


The Corkman is riding only his second Grand Tour, and his first as a team leader. He credited his Jayco AlUla team with the assistance it has given him thus far.

“The guys did a super job all week, keeping me in position so that if anything did happen I was still there,” he said.

Dunbar has shown aggression at several points in the Giro, including on the final climb of Sunday’s stage to Bergamo. That shows his relative freshness at this point in the three week race, and also his improving confidence against some of the top names in pro cycling. “It was nice to have a bit of a dig yesterday and see where I was at,” he said. “Although it wasn’t a big GC day, it was nice to get stuck in.”

The Giro d’Italia recommences on Tuesday with the first of a number of summit finishes. The stage to Monte Bondone ends with a 22 kilometre first category climb, and is preceded by four other mountains.

“Tomorrow will be a big test, and there is a big week ahead,” Dunbar said. “I think if we keep doing what we are doing, who knows where we could end up in Rome. The main thing is we just keep controlling what we can control and just leaving the race to decide what we do. After that there is not much more we can do.

“I am enjoying it, which is a good thing, and hopefully the next few days continue in the same trajectory as the last two weeks.”

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling