Warren Barguil is set to lead the Giant-Alpecin team at this weekend’s Il Lombardia with Tom Dumoulin providing support. 23-year-old Barguil has made huge strides forward this season and debuted at the Tour de France where he finished 14th in the overall standings.
Barguil, who was not part of the French World Championships team, has ridden a series of one-day races since the Tour ended in July, last competing at the Primus Classic Impanis - Van Petegem on September 19. He has ridden the Italian monument on two previous occasions with his best finish of 36th coming last season.
“Our plan will be to go for a top 10 with Warren,” said Giant-Alpecin coach Christian Guiberteau. “He is still very motivated for this race, as it is one of his main goals for this part of the season. Of course, we hope for a surprise, but top 10 should be reasonable.
“Ending the season with a good result at Lombardia will be good for Warren.”
Dumoulin has had a much busier close to the year after competing for the overall classification at the Vuelta a Espana. He also contested all three elite men’s events at the World Championships, taking fifth in the two time trial competitions and 11th in the road race. Joining Barguil and Dumoulin are Lawson Craddock, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Chad Haga, Tobias Ludvigsson and Georg Preidler.
Marcel Kittel will also be looking to end his season well after a very challenging year. Kittel will be joining sprinters Luka Mezgec – who is set to leave the team at the end of the year – Ramon Sinkledam and Nikias Arndt at this Saturday’s Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. Kittel’s season has been heavily impacted by illness and he has failed to finish his last three races. Considering his troubles, the team may have to rely on their other fast-men in the finale.
“The Münsterland Giro is a race that often ends in a bunch sprint. On Sunday a lot of teams will be interested in a sprint, and we will be among them,” said team coach Rudi Kemna.
“With Nikias, Luka and Ramon we have a strong team for the sprint, with different options. Marcel aims to end his season in a good way, and we will have to wait and see how he feels during the race. I expect a great race with hopefully a nice sprint.”
Completing the team for the German race are: Cheng Ji, Carter Jones, Koen de Kort and Albert Timmer.