Mitchelton-SCOTT with sights set on general classification at Giro d’ItaliaThu 26 Apr 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT will start next week’s Giro d’Italia with a firm eye on the general classification battle, lining up with dual leaders in Colombian Esteban Chaves and Britan Simon Yates.
The two leaders will be supported by one of the strongest line ups possible from the Australian outfit, including the in-form Roman Kreuziger and Jack Haig, and new recruit Mikel Nieve.
The first of the three Grand Tours of the season, the Giro d’Italia, is considered the hardest yet most beautiful. The 2018 route doesn’t disappoint with a historic three-stage start in Israel, before heading to Sicily and eventually Italy’s mainland.
The 21 stages cover a total of 3562.9km and feature two individual time trials, six sprint stages, six ‘hilly’ stages and seven challenging mountain stages.
Mitchelton-SCOTT starts the Giro d’Italia with a clear focus on the general classification.
The Australian outfit lines up with two leaders in Chaves and Yates, and a team stacked full of climbing pedigree to back them up.
With a podium at Amstel Gold Race and a worst place of eighth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege throughout the Ardennes, Kreuziger has demonstrated he is ready for the month ahead, whilst fellow climber Haig also animated the same races, primed to play a key support role at the Giro.
After a pre-season crash Nieve debuted for Mitchelton-SCOTT in Liege and impressed in his first race since September 2017. He will fine tune at the Tour of Romandie and be of immense value to the team’s young leaders. Svein Tuft, Chris Juul-Jensen and Sam Bewley round out the team supporting the leaders on the flatter stages throughout.
In the past six years Mitchelton-SCOTT has claimed eight stages at the Giro d’Italia and had five different riders feature in the pink leader’s jersey for a total of 12 days.
The most recent of that time in the Maglia Rosa came in 2016 where Chaves wore it on stage 20 before eventually settling for 2nd place overall, the team’s best general classification result in history.
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“We are making no secret that our focus for the Giro d’Italia is on the general classification and Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves are our leaders. They have worked really well in the past in these roles and we’re expecting the same again.
“We are not the favourites, but we have two guys who are going to challenge the favourites whenever the opportunity arises.”
“On paper we have a really good team, everyone is arriving into the shape they need to be in at the right time.
“It’s quite a interesting course because although the first indication of the overall will come early on stage six on Mt Etna, besides the last week with stages 18-20, there is not more than two days in a row of ‘effort’ for the general classification riders. It’s sporadic and this will make for aggressive racing throughout.”
“I’m really happy to be going back to Italy. When I became professional, I lived in Italy and it has been the place for my toughest moments, but also the most beautiful moments of my career.
“Like always, the Giro will be hard but I have been in Colombia training in the last few weeks and the preparation has gone well so we can hope we can find similar form to 2016. This year we have a really good team, we are looking to be competitive and do the best we can, like always.”
“I’m really looking forward to starting the Giro d’Italia this year for the first time. A last-minute change of program that meant I was unable to debut as planned last year so we decided to give it a try again this season.
“Even without having raced before it’s clear the Giro is one of, if not the most difficult and demanding race on the calendar.
“Here at the Giro I think we have assembled one of the best teams we can for a Grand Tour and I’m excited to join up with the boys, and as a team achieve the best possible result.”