Mareczko, Ten Dam and Ventoso line up for CCC Team at Giro d'Italia

All eight riders will have freedom to try for stage wins

CCC Team head to this year's Giro d'Italia with no clear leader, but with the opportunity to race aggressively and be in the mix through both breakaways and bunch sprints across all three weeks.

Sprinter Jakub Mareczko is arguably the team's biggest name on the roster, and also the rider most likely to come away with a stage victory, if he can get the better of the likes of Deceuninck-QuickStep's Elia Viviani, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Lotto Soudal's Caleb Ewan.

"The Giro d'Italia is one of my favourite races," said Mareczko on the CCC website.

"It's my home Grand Tour, and it's a race that I'm always motivated for – and this year is no exception. As always, there are some good opportunities for sprinters, and having finished second on three occasions in the past, I want to be fighting for stage wins again this year.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure about the form I'm coming into the race with, but I have confidence in myself and in our team," the 25-year-old Italian said.

Łukasz Owsian will likely play a key role in trying to deliver Mareczko to the line in the best possible position, but the Polish rider is also looking forward to grabbing any chances that come his way to win a stage with both hands.

"This will be my third Giro d'Italia and I am happy with my preparation for the race and my condition coming into it," said Owsian. "Firstly, I would like to have the opportunity to be in a good breakaway one day and try to fight for a stage win. and secondly, I want to do a good job for my teammates and work hard for them when needed."

The experienced Francisco Ventoso is also likely to feature in Mareczko's sprint lead-outs, and comes to the race having ridden the Giro seven times before, and having picked up two sprint stage wins, back in 2011 and 2012.

Also providing the team with a wealth of experience will be 38-year-old Laurens ten Dam, who will be able to act as the team's road captain, but will also be free to try for stage wins and even see how well he can do in the overall classification, having finished in the top 10 overall at both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana before.

"I'm feeling good about my condition heading to Bologna for the start of my first Grand Tour with CCC Team," said Ten Dam.

"This will be my fourth Giro d'Italia. The first two I won with our team leader," he explained, referring to Denis Menchov while with Rabobank in 2009, and Tom Dumoulin when riding for Sunweb in 2017. "And the third, I finished second [with Dumoulin again last year].

"But this year, to be honest, I'm happy to have the chance to go for my own results. It's nice to have a different goal and I'm feeling pretty confident. My build-up to the race has been going well – it was like it was in my best years – and I'm thankful to the team for giving me the freedom to do that," said Ten Dam.

The team is rounded out by Giro first-timers Josef Černý, Kamil Gradek and Amaro Antunes, as well as Spain's Víctor de la Parte, who'll be racing his third Corsa Rosa.

CCC Team for the 2019 Giro d'Italia: Amaro Antunes, Josef Černý, Víctor de la Parte, Kamil Gradek, Jakub Mareczko, Łukasz Owsian, Laurens ten Dam, Francisco Ventoso

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