Bookended by individual time trials, this year’s Giro d’Italia will start from Torino and finish in Milano, after almost 3500 kilometers. In between, the race will put on the table several opportunities for the sprinters, a stage on Tuscany’s white roads, and a plethora of daunting climbs – Monte Zoncolan, Passo Fedaia, Passo Pordoi, Passo Giau, Passo San Bernardino and Sega di Ala being just a few examples.
In 2020, João Almeida made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro and ended the race as its revelations, after an incredible three weeks, which saw him carry the iconic maglia rosa for 15 consecutive days and conclude fourth overall. Now, the Portuguese will return at the start hoping to be again one of the protagonists, although he acknowledges that the parcours could make for a much different race.
“Last year it was an incredible Giro. The team put in a huge effort in what was an amazing but at the same time hard three weeks. We fought for a good result, and in the end, I finished fourth on the GC. I would like to be up there again, fight for a nice result and keep a good feeling, which is the most important thing. Hopefully, things will go well and we’ll score some nice results. This year, the mountain stages are going to play a more important role in the final outcome, which means consistency will be the key”, said the 22-year-old.
After being forced to postpone his Grand Tour debut last season because of an injury, Remco Evenepoel is now ready to make his first appearance in a three-week race. This will mark his first competitive outing of the season, to which the 21-year-old looks very much forward.
“I’m happy to race again after such a long period, during which I worked hard to be ready for my first Grand Tour. Being my first race since last August means that we’ll need to see how my body will react. We will take it day by day and see how things go. The most important thing is that I am back with my teammates and staff again, which makes me very happy”, said the young Belgian.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s line-up for the 104th edition of the Corsa Rosa will be completed by French ITT Champion Rémi Cavagna, Mikkel Honoré, 2015 stage winner Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Fausto Masnada – who was third at last week’s Tour de Romandie – and Pieter Serry.
“We go to the Giro with a good team after a very beautiful outing at the 2020 edition, when João got to spend 15 unforgettable days in the pink jersey. There will be some difficult stages already in the first week, and we mustn’t forget the Montalcino stage, which will have 35 kilometers of dirt roads. Like every Grand Tour, the last week will be the hardest and the most important, scheduling many brutal climbs. Overall, we expect a tough race, but we are all motivated for it”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.