The first thing to remember being most of the 'star' GC riders rode in the TdF just gone and another chunk such as Froome who didn't will be riding in the Vuelta that overlaps this tears Giro due to the late start because of covid.
So there's bound to be riders making a name for themselves on this Tour who I've either not heard about before, or have been 'team' riders for others, who have been 'promoted' up due to all the Tours (and classics) coming all at once.
Ag2r - French team whose leader Bardet jumping ship at the end of the season. They like all the French Teams put all their stars into the TdF and they got nothing much out of it. Gallopin seems to be their leader and he's really a one day type of rider - think like the weekends World Championship course. Can't see wins at the Giro for these boys but Bouchard won the king of the mountains at last years Vuelta so I guess that's what their prime target will be?
Astana - I see Lopez who just finished 6th in the TdF is riding but I imagine that will be as a domestique for Fuglsang who finished 5th or 6th in the World's yesterday. Fuglsang is a bit like Riche Porte who has ridden for others mainly throughout his career and only late in the day become the star of the team. He's now 36 but probably in the best form of his life. One to watch definitely but I think there's probably three riders at the Giro better than him - but should make the top ten with Lopez helping him.
Bahrain - Landa is the leader of this team but he's just done the TdF. I don't even know who their leader at the Giro will be as the squad is listed alphabetically (usually the leaders name is first and alphabetically thereafter) and I've never heard of Enrico Battaglin who is listed first. Come to that the only name I have heard is Brit Scott Davies and he's just a youngster in usual cycling terms. Can't really help on this one.
Bora - Turns out Sagan's been paid a lot of money to be here and has honoured his agreement which was made pre coronavirus. Rafal Majka will be there GC rider, who is good but not in the top rank, even in this weaker field this year I would suggest. Sagan will be the one that will no doubt find some way to entertain us.
CCC - I think this team is on its way to folding so don't expect any fireworks from it. Zakarin I guess will be their GC but isn't anything special.
Cofidis - Italian Viviani who is a great sprinter but on a poor team did nothing at this years TdF. Maybe he'll do something in front of his home crowd, he's certainly good enough to!
Quick Step - The team of Alaphilippe and Sam Bennett, neither who will be there. They usually prefer one day racing and a geared up that way so I guess they will hunt stages. They do however include a young Brit James Knox who finished 11th in last years Vuelta, so one to watch out for in the mountains.
EF Pro Cycling - Uran's team. Non of the names jump out to me, Kangert's been around for a while but isn't that good. Maybe they will give him a chance to ride for himself rather than others? Again nobody who grabs my attention.
FDJ - French team going with their sprinter Demare to be their lead rider. He can and does win sprints but isn't really in the elite group of sprinters that Viviani has been in at times.
Israel Start Up - The team that is awaiting Froome's arrival. Brit and usually our national TT specialist is in the team, so maybe hopes for a stage win perhaps, but then again he's up against Thomas for those. I think they will be happy with any scraps they can pick up.
Lotto Soudal - Sprinter Caleb Ewan's team who again won't be at the Giro. The only name I really know from there team is iron-man Adam Hansen who rode a record 20 consecutive Grand Tours - takes some doing that! Again apart from that I don't know much else to say.
Mitchelton Scott - Aussie team with possibly the favourite, Bury boy (and twin to Adam) Simon Yates, who won the Vuelta in 2018 and should have won the Giro that year too but cracked badly with just a couple of days to go and was one of many blasted into oblivion with Froome's 'miracle' stage. Give it a lot of Billy Big Bollocks last year telling everybody he was going to win the Giro the following year but finished a long way behind Carapaz, Nibali and Roglic. He's got serious talent though, so don't write him off.
Movistar - Spanish team so will be saving their big guns for the Vuelta. To be honest I don't think I've heard of any of their team so I don't think they are here with any big expectations on their shoulders.
NTT Pro - Louis Meintjes seems to be their leader and has had a couple of top tens in Tours before now but yet again another who doesn't dine with the top tier of GC riders. I don't have anything more I can add.
Ineos/Sky - looks to me as they are going for this! Thomas is the class of the field but does he still have the fire in his belly? The team is packed with some seriously big engines in Rohan Dennis former two times world TT champion and Filippo Ganna, the current one. Ben Swift, notionally the team sprinter along with Golas and Puccio will no doubt be putting in their fair shares in the engine room too. Dunbar will be his wingman on the mountains and I guess Geoghegan Hart is probably there to help too, go for the bottles!
Jumbo Visma - Believe it or not until last year or so Kruijswijk was probably the starman on their team! He was absolutely flying prior to this years TdF but had a crash and was ruled out of it where he would have been joint leader with both Roglic and Dumoulin! If he's back to full health and Jumbo have strength in depth - I see their big engine Tony Martin has just ridden in the TdF - the they will be battling it out with Ineos - but I don't think they have. Could well be a battle between Kruijswijk, Thomas and Yates for the Pink jersey though!
Sunweb - what a great TdF they had! Matthews was the last rider to win Green at the TdF other than Sagan - and even then only did so after Sagan had been somewhat harshly perhaps thrown out of that years race. Matthews is off to another team after this season and that was directly the reason why he wasn't selected for France. I don't think he's anything special and will no doubt be in competition for the Giro's version of the Green Jersey but he won't be winning GC or anything like that. There GC rider is Wilco Kelderman yet another good climber but not in the same league as K, T and Y who I mention above.
Trek - The great Vincenzo Nibali, a favourite rider of mine and a regular foe of Chris Froome. Froome though bested him when it matted in France. Nibali is Italian and at 35 years old probably in his last realistic chance of winning the Giro for the third time. He's the fourth and last of the realistic winners of this years Giro but has he got the necessary support team behind him?
UAE - Pogacar's team. Sprint super star Gaviria is probably the main man is this team but he's been off the boil for the last two seasons now.
Also, an no offence intended, Androni, Bardini and Vini Zabi are the three wildcard teams selected who are all I believe Italian and which I know nothing about or their riders. I assume they will get into the breakaways to get their sponsors names on TV and anything more than that will be a bonus for them.
Who will win, I don't know! Nibali is the class rider, wonderful to watch on descents and with a very clever brain at knowing what to do and when. He's come up short though when faced with the Sky train with Froome to finish it off at the death. Kruijswijk has been around a log time and should have won the Giro in 2016 but threw it all away with a crash on Stage 19 of the 2016 edition, where he broke a rib - video below.
Yates is talented, no doubt about that but either has a big head or blusters because he hasn't believed he could do it when it matters.
I'll go for Thomas if he's got his mojo back - he deserves another Tour as I don't see where is career is now heading at Sky?
Kruijswijk might well be the man for him to beat though for pink.
The weather at this time of the year in the Alps and Dolomities might well be the joker in the pack though!