All three have taken different approaches into the race with Spaniard Alberto Contador aiming at a historic Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double. He has only registered one win this season but he will start the race as the undisputed favourite with a grand tour palmares unmatched by any of his rivals. The squad surrounding him is stacked with both experience and talent, and that should be evident when the race begins on Saturday with a team time trial into San Remo.
However Contador won’t have everything his own way. Richie Porte is the man in form with a string of wins already under his belt and a growing sense of confidence after a disappointing 2014 season. It could be make or break for the Australian’s Grand Tour ambitions though and at 30 it’s unlikely that such an opportunity to lead at Team Sky will present itself again.
With Nairo Quintana focused on the Tour de France Rigoberto Uran returns as the highest placed finisher from 2014. The Colombian all-rounder has finished second in the race for each of the last two years and has built a solid reputation as a grand tour rider. He will enjoy the long time trial in this year’s race but questions remain over the depth of his team in comparison to Team Sky and Tinkoff Saxo.