Quick-Step Floors have confirmed they focus on stages victories rather than the overall classification at the Giro d'Italia, with Elia Viviani confirmed as team leader, with the other riders selected to provide him with a strong lead-out train and target individual success.
Bob Jungles led Quick-Step Floors at the 2016 and 2017 Giro d'Italia, finishing sixth and eighth overall and wearing the leader's pink jersey for five days last year. However, the Luxembourg national champion ended his spring campaign with victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and will focus on the Tour de France this summer.
Joining Viviani at the Giro d'Italia is experienced riders Eros Capecchi, Michael Mørkøv, and Fabio Sabatini, Dwars door West-Vlaanderen winner Rémi Cavagna, talented young German Maximilian Schachmann, Florian Sénéchal and Classics veteran Zdenek Stybar. Davide Bramati is lead directeur sportif; he rode 12 editions of the Corsa Rosa during his own career.
Several big-name sprinters have opted to skip this year's Giro d'Italia due to the limited opportunities for sprinters. On paper, there are only a handful of flat stage finishes, with late climbs and hilly profiles meaning the sprinter's team will have to work hard for any success.
Viviani is happy just to be back at his home Grand Tour after being snubbed for a place while with Team Sky in 2017. He moved to Quick-Step Floors to share the sprinting responsibilities with Fernando Gaviria and has taken advantage of the Belgian's strong team tactics to win six races so far this season. He suffered during the recent Tour de Romandie, missing the time cut in the stage 3 mountain time trial, but is confident he can be competitive in the Giro d'Italia. If he rides well in Friday's opening time trial in Jerusalem, he could even close in on the pink jersey thanks to the 10-6-4 second time bonuses awarded at on each stage.
Viviani won a stage to Genoa at the 2016 Giro d'Italia and Quick-Step Floors hopes the team can continue their run of success after an incredible spring campaign that netted 27 victories, including the Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs, Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"We've had a fantastic first part of the season, but that is history now and we don't plan to rest on our laurels," Bramati said when Quick-Step Floors confirmed its line-up before travelling to Israel.
"The Giro d'Italia is one of the most important races of the season, one where we have always enjoyed tremendous success, winning stages, distinctive jerseys and being up there in the general classification, so it's only natural to be motivated and ambitious for this fresh challenge.
"Our roster has a mix of youth and experience, and Elia will be the leader for the next three weeks, but this doesn't mean we won't try to be in the mix also in other stages and grab every opportunity we'll be presented with."