Michael Barry and Bradley Wiggins headline Team Sky as the British team makes its grand tour debut at the Giro d’Italia.
Wiggins will use the Giro to hone his form for July’s Tour de France, but hopes to make a strong impression early in the 21-stage Giro, which clicks into gear May 8 in Amsterdam. The 8.4km team time trial in the streets of Amsterdam will be a major target for Sky.
“You cannot go to a race like the Giro and not take it seriously. You go to the Giro and race the Giro, and that’s what’s Bradley will do,” said team boss Dave Brailsford. “We’re all incredibly excited about racing in the Giro. It’s Team Sky’s debut in a grand tour and another special moment for us.”
Wiggins rode well in the mountains in last year’s Giro to put the cycling world on notice ahead of his breakthrough fourth-place performance in the 2009 Tour de France.
Barry will be back for his fourth career Giro start and will be one of the team’s captains. The veteran Canadian is coming off a strong run through the spring classics and expects big things for the team.
“The grand tours are on a different level. All the riders are excited about it and I hope all the fans are, too,” said Barry. “The team really looks good. I know Bradley’s fitness is great right now and he’s motivated to do some nice rides, especially in the first part of the race. We have some quick sprinters and also riders who can climb really well, so I am sure the victories will come.”
Chris Froome is also set to race despite crashing hard in Tuesday’s opening prologue at the Tour de Romandie. The 24-year-old was banged up, but didn’t suffer any serious injuries when he hit the deck on the final corner of the course.
“To be ready for the Giro has been a big goal for me and I’m obviously going to be putting everything into that,” said Froome, he went back to his European homebase in Tuscany to recover. “I’m definitely hopeful that I’ll recover in time for the start.”
Team Sky will not only be a factor in the team time trial, but also in the sprints, with Greg Henderson and Mathew Hayman riding well.
Team Sky for Giro d’Italia