Mark Cavendish heads up our squad for the first Grand Tour of the season.
Six summit finishes (Etna, Blockhaus, Cogne, Aprica, Lavarone and Marmolada), 26 individual time trial kilometers, five clear opportunities for the sprinters and more than 50 000 vertical meters – the Giro d’Italia didn’t disappoint when it came to designing an appetising course for the edition taking place between 6-29 May.
The race, running its 105th instalment, will get underway in just a couple of days from Budapest, the 14th different foreign city to host the start, and conclude in Verona for the fifth time after 1981, 1984, 2010 and 2019.
In the previous starts, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has amassed 26 stage victories with 14 different riders, in addition to 11 secondary classification triumphs and 44 pink jerseys, and our team will look to be again among the protagonists this month and leave its mark on the race.
Mark Cavendish is one of the most successful riders in the history of the Corsa Rosa. In just five participations, he won a staggering 15 stages, took home the points classification once and spent a total of four days in the iconic maglia rosa. Now, the Manxman will make his first outing since 2013 at the first Grand Tour of the year having enjoyed a solid first part of the season, with three victories, one of which came on Italian soil at the oldest race in the world, Milano-Torino.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s roster for the three-week event will be a mixture of youth and experience and is set to include also Davide Ballerini, James Knox, expert lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, Mauro Schmid – a stage winner at last year’s edition – Pieter Serry, Bert Van Lerberghe, and Mauri Vansevenant.
“We go to the Giro d’Italia with a lot of motivation. We have a good team at the start, with Mark as our man for the flat. He has won a lot of stages at the Giro, and he can rely on many strong riders to support and guide him in the hectic bunch sprints. For the other stages, we’ll just take it one day at a time, fight for every opportunity and see what we can do. We know that it won’t be an easy three weeks, it never is, but we will try to do our best, because it’s in our nature”, explained Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Davide Bramati.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images