The peloton spends three days in Ireland before heading back to Italy on Monday – the first rest day of the three week race. In the first week alone there are several sprint opportunities, which Team Giant-Shimano will focus on with Marcel Kittel (GER) starting the race.
Kittel has a strong support team which includes Luka Mezgec (SLO) giving the team other sprint opportunities that they can also target. Alongside the sprints, the team will also look to be active on other stages with riders who can target results on other specific days.
Speaking about the line up for the Giro, Team Giant-Shimano coach, Addy Engels (NED) said: “The first goal for the Giro with Marcel in the team will obviously be for the sprints, and for the stages that are slightly too hilly for him we can ride for Luka too.
“We have a strong line-up of riders who will be able to support this in terms of chasing down the breaks and also for the lead-outs.
“Then there’s a part of the team that will be looking for results from the other stages and taking their chances when they can – guys like Tobias [Ludvigsson], Simon [Geschke] and Georg [Preidler]. Opportunities like these are great for learning and development, as being out front in the final stages of a Grand Tour stage is no easy feat.
“This worked well last year and Tobias very nearly pulled off a big result, finishing fourth on stage 9 after a long breakaway. We will be looking for similar stages and will take it day-by-day without an immediate focus on the overall GC.”
Giro d’Italia (WT)
Bert de Backer (BEL)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Georg Preidler (AUT)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)
Addy Engels (NED)