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.
“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.