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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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More teams announce Giro d'Italia squads

Here's the update from Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Featuring three individual time trials and seven uphill finishes, the Giro d’Italia is set to be once again a hard race that will give the overall contenders plenty of opportunities to make the difference. Starting in Fossacesia Marina and finishing in Rome, the Corsa Rosa will take in an elevation gain of more than 51 000 meters, much to the delight of those who are expected to shed time in the three stages against the clock.

Lago Laceno, Campo Imperatore, Crans Montana, Monte Bondone – the ascent forever linked with Charly Gaul’s incredible ride at the 1956 edition – Val di Zoldo, Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Monte Lussari will be the seven mountain summits of the race, with the mention that the last of these will come at the end of a gruelling and potentially decisive individual time trial. But there will be also other chances for the pink jersey favourites to gain precious seconds, with many of the medium mountain stages lending themselves to long-range attacks.

World Champion Remco Evenepoel will lead Soudal Quick-Step at the 106th Giro d’Italia (6-28 May), which he’ll start two weeks after his phenomenal triumph at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, where he rode everyone off his wheel on La Redoute. Just like in “La Doyenne”, the 23-year-old Belgian will wear bib number one on his back as he’ll line up for the opening day individual time trial.

Remco Evenepoel put on a stunning display of power and endurance at this year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Sirotti photo

“Racing in Italy is always special. I love it there, I love the amazing tifosi and their passion for cycling, so I am excited about being at the start of this Giro. Of course, doing it as World Champion makes it even more special, as I am keen on honouring this beautiful rainbow jersey that I will sport every day for the next three weeks. There’s no secret that I aim to do a good general classification. I can count on a very good team, we are all motivated and prepared to do our best”, said Remco ahead of his third appearance in a Grand Tour.

Supporting Evenepoel at the Corsa Rosa will be Davide Ballerini, Mattia Cattaneo, Josef Cerny, Jan Hirt, Pieter Serry, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke – riders with a lot of experience, who between them have raced a total of 47 Grand Tours.

“It’s time for the season’s first Grand Tour and we can’t wait to get things started, especially as we will race it with the World Champion in our ranks. We travel to Italy with a strong team, riders who are all determined to do a good race, show the Wolfpack spirit and help Remco get the best possible result in the general classification”, said Soudal Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.

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Here’s the Giro team announcement from UAE Team Emirates:

UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team heading into the Giro d’Italia (6-28 May) with an exciting squad departing from Fossacesia, Chieti before embarking on a 3-week adventure finishing in Rome, covering 3,489km with 51,400 metres of climbing.

Leading the hopes the General Classification will be Portuguese talent Joao Almeida while Pascal Ackermann will lead the line in the of sprints. Jay Vine makes his Giro d’Italia debut and will provide a strong lieutenant for Almeida and may see his own chances open-up depending how the race develops.

Joao Almeida (shown last year at the Vuelta a Burgos) will lead UAE Team Emirates at the Giro.

Almeida has unfinished business at the Giro, having gone home on stage 18 through illness last year while sitting in 4th spot overall. This year the 24-year old will be looking to go the distance.

João Almeida : “After the disappointing end to this race last year I’m definitely hungry to come back and fight for a big result.

"The preparation for the Giro has gone really well. I think I’ve been really consistent this year and we’ve just done a big block of great training at altitude in Sierra Nevada, Spain so as a group we are in a great place both physically and mentally.

"Naturally my aim is to do a good GC but we also have Pascal for the sprints and some guys who have won stages here at the Giro before. I think we are in for a great race.”

Sports Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita), and Marco Marzano (Ita). The team is comprised of 8 riders:

Giro d’Italia [2.UWT] – 06-May-2023 / 28-May-2023

João Almeida (Por)
Pascal Ackermann (Ger)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
Davide Formolo (Ita)
Brandon McNulty (USA)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Jay Vine (Aus)

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Team Jayco AlUla also sent me their Giro squad list:

Former two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Michael Matthews and Irish climber Eddie Dunbar will lead a well-balanced Team Jayco AlUla squad at the 106thedition of the Giro d’Italia starting on Saturday, 6th May in Ortona on the Abruzzo coast.

The pair will headline the Australian outfit’s dual ambitions of taking stage victories and a strong general classification showing in the demanding three-week race.

Michael Matthews in pink in the 2015 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Fresh from his recent top-10 finish overall at a hard edition of the Tour of Romandie, Dunbar is in high spirits for the Italian Grand Tour and the Irishman will have a strong support group around him, in the shape of experienced road captain Alessandro De Marchi, and the young and motivated Italian champion Filippo Zana.

Australia’s Callum Scotson, who is quickly becoming one of the most valued support riders on the squad, will also be a key asset for Dunbar in the crucial third and final week, which is full of challenging alpine climbs set to determine the overall standings.

For the potential fast finishes and undulating stages more suited to Matthews, the former pink jersey wearer will have a mixed group around him with Austria’s Lukas Pöstlberger, also a former Giro stage winner and Maglia Rosa wearer, experienced Australian Michael Hepburn, who lines up for his eighth Giro assault, plus New Zealander Campbell Stewart, who is set to make his Grand Tour debut.

With no less than three individual time trials and 51,400 metres of altitude gain spread throughout the 3489 kilometre course, it is set to be another exciting, yet very demanding Grand Tour to shape the 2023 season.

Team Jayco-AlUla Giro d’Italia line-up:

  • Eddie Dunbar – 2nd appearance
  • Alessandro De Marchi – 7th appearance
  • Michael Hepburn – 8th appearance
  • Callum Scotson – 3rd appearance
  • Michael Matthews – 4th appearance
  • Lukas Pöstlberger – 2nd appearance
  • Campbell Stewart – Debut appearance
  • Filippo Zana – 4th appearance

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“The Giro d’Italia is one of the most challenging but also beautiful races on the racing calendar and as always, we are extremely excited to participate in this year’s event.

"Together with the performance group we have built a balanced team which ranges from young to experienced riders and we are very much looking forward to seeing them battling it out for some exhilarating racing.

"We are forever grateful to all our sponsors and partners and particularly to our team owner Gerry Ryan, for the extraordinary support he continuously shows towards the team. We are looking forward to showcasing on the Italian roads over the next month.”

Michael Matthews:
“Three years have already passed since the last time I raced the Giro and so I am very happy to return to a race that has given me a lot of satisfaction in the past, having won stages and worn the pink jersey back in 2014 and 2015. The Giro d’Italia is of course a huge race for us and it is always great lining up at such a prestigious event.

"I am eager to get back to racing, I have had a bit of a rollercoaster of a season so far after a crash at the Tour of Flanders and having to recover from that and also being forced to stop for a while due to Covid. Now I am feeling good and like everything is back on track.

"This year’s course is very demanding, but there will be some good opportunities for me for stage victories and we have a well-balanced and experienced team. It is really motivating to have a slightly different calendar this year and to return to this great Grand Tour.”

David McPartland – Sport Director:
“As always, we are very motivated to head to Italy for the Giro d’Italia. We have had a lot of success at the Giro over the years and we are planning for more again in this year’s edition. It’s a course that has everything, lots of time trial kilometres, both flat & mountainous, then some flat road stages, many intermediate stages that can go either way, long hard mountain top finishes in the Dolomites and a spectacular last stage in Rome to wrap it up.

"We are bringing a rounded squad spearheaded by Matthews who will be supported by experienced riders. The squad is completed by the two young riders in Stewart and Zana and finally by Dunbar who will be at the Giro for the mountain stages and our general classification ambitions.

“La corsa rosa” is one of the most spectacular and hardest races that exists on the WorldTour calendar, and we are ready to give it our everything and bring home some success.”

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And here is the Giro team announcement from Team Bahrain Victorious:

May 6th sees the start of the Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of the year, which for 2023 features three time trials and six mountain stages, over 3489 kilometres in total.

Team Bahrain Victorious head to the ‘Grande Partenza’ in Abruzzo with Jack Haig as leader. The Australian has started the Giro twice in his career, but always riding in support of another. He arrives on the back of a podium at The Tour of the Alps, and promising form in all four stage races in which he has participated this year.

Jack Haig at the 2021 Vuelta a España. Sirotti photo

As usual the ‘percorso’ suits the climbers. The riders will tackle a total of 51,400 metres of altitude gain, including three stages with over 5,000m each, and over 70kms against the clock.

Supporting Jack in the mountains will be Damiano Caruso, 2nd in the Giro two years ago, and making his sixth appearance at his home Grand Tour. Alongside them Gino Mäder also takes to the startline for the second time, having won stage 6 in 2021. Columbian Santiago Buitrago travels to Italy after a standout 3rd place finish at Liège-Bastogne-Liège last week, his 3rd race podium of the season. The 23 year old made his Giro debut 12 months ago, winning the 17th stage. Completing the list of climbers is Edoardo Zambanini, who competed in his first Grand Tour at the 2022 Vuelta a España, riding for Mikel Landa.

Lead Sports Director for the three weeks will be Gorazd Štangelj, who explains more about the team’s overall objectives:

“Jack is our GC leader, and we also have Damiano, Gino & Santiago. Of course we will look at the situation day by day. There is some very strong competition at the race this year, particularly with so much time trialling, so our goal of the podium would be a really big achievement. Damiano showed great condition at Romandie, Jack in the Alps, Santi at Liege as well as the Alps, and Gino’s form is improving too.”

The opening week has a mix of profiles, topped & tailed by relatively flat time trials of 19 & 35 kms on stages 1 & 9. In between are days for sprinters and puncheurs, and the first real mountain test, stage 7, which concludes with a seemingly endless ascent to the Gran Sasso d’Italia at 2130m.

After the first rest day and a journey to the West of the peninsula, the peloton face three fairly straightforward days before the GC battle comes back into focus. The Giro crosses into Switzerland on stage 13, midway through which appears the highest point of the race, the ’Cima Coppi’, at the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard (2469m).

The demanding Croix de Coeur follows, ahead of a summit finish atop the 1st category Crans-Montana.

There are six days when the fast men will believe they can take victory, and six hilly stages to entice the breakaway specialists. Bahrain will be hoping to challenge on those too, Jonathan Milan, Olympic gold medallist on the track, the designated sprinter. Supporting him on the flat is fellow Italian Andrea Pasqualon, and the experienced Jasha Sütterlin, returning for his third Giro. Their primary role will of course, be to look after our GC riders, but in the right circumstances may be given the freedom to fight for win.

Štangelj comments:
“Every day we will give the riders tasks and opportunities, as well as protecting the leaders. We will look at every stage to see where we might find our moment of glory.

"I’m happy to have Jonathan here, even though we won’t be able to give him much support on the stages that suit him. But he should be able to find some space once the GC boys are safe.

"We have Edoardo as climbing support, Jasha Andrea & Jonathan as flat support, but of course everyday we will have an objective in mind.”

The Giro d’Italia claims to be ‘The world’s toughest race, in the world’s most beautiful place’, and every year the final week is loaded with climbing. Three days in the high mountains and a gruelling time trial up the 1st category Monte Lussari before a closing sprint in Rome. Stage 19 in the Dolomites is seen by many as the ‘Queen Stage’: the 183 km from Longarone to Tre Cime di Lavaredo takes in five formidable ascents in the last 100kms, and a 5th summit finish.

The 106th edition of the Giro is a mouthwatering prospect, and promises high drama & excitement from start to finish, in the shadow of some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenerey

Štangelj is looking forward to leading the Bahrain Victorious challenge: “We have a great team here, and we will chase opportunities every day in this Giro d’Italia.”

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