Mitchelton-BikeExchange return to familiar hunting ground at the Giro d’Italia U23Wed 6 Jun 2018
Chinese UCI Continental outfit Mitchelton-BikeExchange this week return to one of the most prestigious and hardest U23 races on the calendar, the Giro d’Italia U23 with a strong and versatile team on the hunt for stage success and a solid general classification result.
2017 saw the team’s debut appearance in the ‘Baby Giro’ and the young line up took the race by storm with two stage wins and second and third on the general classification.
After playing supporting roles last year Australians Robert Stannard and Sam Jenner graduate to leadership roles this time around with British sprinter Jacob Hennessy making his return to competition after recovering from a broken clavicle.
The trio will receive strong support from Colombian climber Brayan Chaves – who has adapted well to European racing and Australian track specialist and big engine Callum Scotson.
New signing and a talented climber in his own right, Drew Morey will be making his first appearance for the team and the 21-year-old Australian will be expected to play an important supporting role in the mountains alongside Chaves.
Brayan Chaves (COL, 21)
Jacob Hennessy (GBR, 21)
Sam Jenner (AUS, 21)
Drew Morey (AUS, 21)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 21)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 19)
First held in 1970 and now in its 41styear on the racing calendar the Baby Giro traverses northern Italy over ten competitive stages that are bookended by time trials with the opening prologue taking place in picturesque Forli and the closing ITT on the tough Ca’del Poggio climb in the Veneto.
A challenging and mountainous route that includes four first category summit finishes, Passo Maniva, Dimaro Folgarida, Pian delle Fugazze and a testing run to Asiago on stage eight and a grand total of 16,500 elevation metres throughout the race.
Predominantly favouring climbers, puncheurs and the GC contenders, there are a couple of stages that will lean towards the breakaway and also stages three and six that will suit the sprinters – days when Hennessy will look to shine.
Sport director James Victor:
“The Giro d’Italia U23 is one of the most important races of the year for Mitchelton-BikeExchange and an event that we look forward very much to returning to in 2018.”
“After a successful outing at last year’s race that included second and third place overall for Lucas Hamilton and Jai Hindley and two stage victories we are excited to be afforded the opportunity to be back racing in Italy with another talented roster of young riders.
“As a development team our objective is very much centered around identifying potential in young riders and creating the best environment to help them reach the next level of their ability.
“With both Hamilton and Hindley now competing at WorldTour level after successful appearances at the Baby Giro it will be great for us to offer the same chance to our riders this time around and provide them with the opportunity to compete in a challenging race against strong competition.
“We have a solid line up and strong ambitions for the race, our preparation has been finalised and the team is looking forward to a unique, tough edition of this prestigious Giro.”
Giro d’Italia U23 – Stages:
Thursday 7thJune, Prologue: Forli, 4.4km
Friday 8thJune, Stage 1: Riccione to Forli, 137.7km
Saturday 9thJune, Stage 2: Nonantola to Sestola, 138.2km
Sunday 10thJune, Stage 3: Rio Saliceto to Mornico al Serio, 164.3km
Monday 11thJune, Stage 4: Mornico al serio to Passo Maniva, 127,9km
Tuesday12thJune, Stage 5: Darfo Boario Terme to Dimaro Folgarida, 127,8km
Wednesday 13thJune, Stage 6: Dimaro Folgarida to Pergine Valsugana, 120.7km
Thursday 14thJune, Stage 7: Achio to Pian delle Fugazze, 136.9km
Friday 15thJune, Stage 8: Levico Terme to Asiago, 157.4km
Saturday 16thJune, Stage 9: A- Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, 72.8km + B- ITT, Muro di Ca’del Poggio, 22km
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.