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Giro d'Italia 2022 - Comprehensive team-by-team guide

NMES FRANCE JULY 08 Richard Carapaz of Ecuador Tao Geoghegan Hart of The United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 12 a 1594km stage from SaintPaulTroisChateaux to Nimes LeTour TDF2021 on July 08 2021 in Nmes France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The 22 teams that will ride this year’s Giro d’italia will travel to Budapest on Tuesday for the Grande Partenza countdown to the start of this year’s race.  

A total of 176 riders from 22 different teams will take part in the 105th edition of the Giro d'Italia (opens in new tab), targeting stage victories, overall success, the different classifications jerseys and moments of personal glory and career memories.  

The 18 WorldTour teams and best ranked ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix are automatically invited to the Giro d’Italia and organiser RCS Sport has awarded wild card places to Italian squads Eolo-Kometa, Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè.

Each have set their own objectives and named their eight-rider roster with their goals in mind. Some teams are chasing stage victories in sprints, the wild card teams will surely go in the breakaway attempts, while Ineos Grenadiers (opens in new tab), BikeExchange-Jayco, Bahrain Victorious and Astana Qazaqstan have all built decade rosters around helping their team leaders target the maglia rosa.  

There are plenty of famous faces, in-form riders and riders to watch and discover. We have analysed every team, picking out their leaders, riders to watch and discover, predicting each squad’s hopes and objectives.

Here's the Cyclingnews 2022 Giro d'Italia team-by-team guide.

For everything else you need to know, read our complete preview of the Giro d'Italia 2022, and our guide on how to watch the Giro d'Italia.

Ineos Grenadiers

  • Team leader: Richard Carapaz
  • Objective: GC podium and stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Pavel Sivakov and Ben Tulett

MILAN ITALY MAY 30 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia Pink Leader Jersey Nicolas Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain Filippo Ganna of Italy Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda of Colombia Gianni Moscon of Italy Salvatore Puccio of Italy Jhonnatan Narvaez Prado of Ecuador Matteo Tosatto of Italy Sports Director Dario David Cioni of Italy Sports Director Dave Brailsford of United Kingdom General Manager and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 21 a 303km Individual Time Trial stage from Senago to Milano Trophy Trofeo Senza Fine ITT UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 30 2021 in Milan Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Egan Bernal won the Giro title in 2021 (in pink jersey) and was surrounded by his full Ineos Grenadiers team on the final podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After Egan Bernal’s victory in 2021, Richard Carapaz will start the 2022 Giro d'Italia wearing race number one and will be expected to continue the British super-team's run of success.

Carapaz is perfectly suited to the mountainous and time trial-lite route and so is the logical favourite to give Ineos Grenadiers their third consecutive victory.

There is no place for the recently-sick Tao Geoghegan Hart, Eddie Dunbar, Tour de France-bound Tom Pidcock or sprinter Elia Viviani, with lead directeur sportif Matteo Tosatto opting for a mix of climbers and experienced Grand Tour rouleurs to help Carapaz win.

Pavel Sivakov, Jonathan Castroviejo and Richie Porte – who will end his Grand Tour career in Italy – will help Carapaz in the mountains, with Salvatore Puccio is the trusted road captain, while Jhonatan Narváez and Ben Swift offer support and protection on the flatter roads and in breakaways.

It will be fascinating to see 20-year-old Ben Tulett on his Grand Tour debut, while Sivakov also appears back to his best and a possible understudy to Carapaz.

AG2R Citroën Team

  • Team leader: Nans Peters
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Lilian Calmejane and Felix Gall

BOLZANO LANA ITALY APRIL 19 Felix Gall of Austria and AG2R Citroen Team competes in the breakaway during the 45th Tour of the Alps 2022 Stage 2 a 1541km stage from PrimieroS Martino di Castrozza to Lana TouroftheAlps on April 19 2022 in Bolzano Lana Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) at the Tour of the Alps (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The French team are saving their big-name riders for the Tour de France and so offer their baradouers an opportunity to go on the attack and chase stage victories at the Giro d’Italia.  

Andrea Vendrame is always motivated on home roads, while Nans Peters showed his Grand Tour aggression and talent with stage wins in the 2019 Giro and then the 2020 Tour de France.

Calmejane also has Grand Tour stage wins on his palmares and is still hungry, while 24-year-old Austrian Felix Gall will be a rider to watch. He was sixth overall at the recent Tour of the Alps, proving he can climb and is on form.

Alpecin-Fenix

  • Team leader: Mathieu van der Poel
  • Objective: stage wins and early spell in the pink jersey
  • Rider to watch: Mathieu van der Poel

CHATEAUROUX FRANCE JULY 01 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Yellow Leader Jersey during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 6 a 1606km stage from Tours to Chteauroux LeTour TDF2021 on July 01 2021 in Chateauroux France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel rides in yellow jersey at 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

With Tim Merlier forced to miss the Giro d’Italia due to the injuries he suffered at Paris-Roubaix, all of Alpecin-Fenix’s hopes and ambitions depend on Mathieu van der Poel.

The Dutchman is using the Corsa Rosa to rebuild the foundations of his form after his back problems and rushed return for the Classics. Like a number of sprinters, he is unlikely to ride all the way to Verona but can be expected to light up the race, right from stage 1 on Friday.

The riding finish to the hilltop above Visegrád suits him perfectly and he wants to add the maglia rosa to the maillot jaune he wore at last year’s Tour de France.

There are potentially eight stages suited to Van der Poel’s Classics and sprinting skills before the mountains arrive on stage 15.

Astana Qazaqstan

  • Team leader: Miguel Angel López
  • Objective: GC podium, stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Vincenzo Nibali and Joe Dombrowski

Vincenzo Nibali has won his home Grand Tour twice, last in 2016 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Astana Qazaqstan have been struggling with illness and injury among other problems in early 2022 but have a long history of success at the Giro d’Italia.

Miguel Ángel López returns for a leadership role, while two-time winner and local hero Vincenzo Nibali will have the freedom to target stage victories and guide López for the team in what could be the Italian's final and 11th Giro of his long career.

López has a Grand Tour pedigree but lacks the cool nerve and self control needed to race consistently for three weeks. After his spat and divorce with Movistar at the 2021 Vuelta a España, the mountainous Giro route offers the 28-year-old Colombian a chance for redemption.

Nibali suffered after catching COVID-19 in February but seems motivated. The USA’s Joe Dombrowski won a stage last year and has the talent to do it again if given a chance , while David De La Cruz, Valerio Conti and Fabio Felline all have Grand Tour talent and experience. Veteran directeur sportif Beppe Martinelli will be Astana Qazaqstan’s invaluable ninth-man in the team car.

Bahrain Victorious

  • Team leader: Mikel Landa
  • Objective: GC podium and stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Pello Bilbao and Wout Poels

CARPEGNA ITALY MARCH 12 Mikel Landa Meana of Spain and Team Bahrain Victorious competes during the 57th TirrenoAdriatico 2022 Stage 6 a 215km stage from Apecchio to Carpegna 746m TirrenoAdriatico WorldTour on March 12 2022 in Carpegna Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mikel Landa was third overall at 2022 Tirreno-Adriatico (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

There is a growing sense that 2022 could finally be Mikel Landa’s year and the 32-year-old Spaniard appears on form and ready to embrace his fortune and finally show the full effect of his ‘Landismo’ style of racing.

We can expect Landa to grip the drops, look up the road ahead and attack whenever the gradients hit double digits. This year there are over 51,000 metres of altitude and only 26.6km of time trials, offering Landa a near made-to-measure route.

He crashed out last year but has carefully honed his form for May and Bahrain Victorious have blacked his chances with a solid team that includes Wout Poels, Santiago Buitrago, Jasha Sütterlin and ever-aggressive Jan Tratnik.

Poels could easily step up if Landa crashes and Pello Bilbao could win early hilly stages and enjoy a spell in the pink jersey, to ease the pressure on Landa for the decisive final week.    

Bardiani CSF Faizanè

  • Team leader: Filippo Zana
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Sacha Modolo

LLOSETA SPAIN JANUARY 28 Filippo Zana of Italy and Team Bardiani Csf Faizane competes during the 31st Challenge Ciclista Mallorca 2022 Trofeo Serra De Tramuntana a 1589km race from Lloseta to Lloseta ChallengeMallorca on January 28 2022 in Lloseta Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Filippo Zana ofBardiani CSF Faizanè competes during the 2022 Challenge Ciclista Mallorca (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Bardiani CSF Faizanè will stand out in the Giro due to their purple colours and constant desire to be in the break of the day.

However, the Italian team is looking for more than just television time for its sponsors and hope Filippo Zana can perform in the mountains and Sacha Modolo in the sprints.

Zana finished third overall in the 2021 Tour de l'Avenir after battling with Tobias Halland Johannessen and Carlos Rodriguez and was seventh on a stage in the 2021 Giro. He is riding his third Grand Tour and third Giro, so has experience of surviving and thriving in the third week.

With Giovanni Visconti opting to retire in March, Modolo is the veteran amongst a number of young Italian talents. He will try to take on Mathieu van der Poel and Mark Cavendish in the sprints after two seasons hit by illness.  

Bora-Hansgrohe

  • Team leaders: Wilco Kelderman, Emanuel Buchmann and Jai Hindley
  • Objective: GC podium and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Lennard Kämna

TOBLACH HOCHPUSTERTAL ITALY APRIL 20 Lennard Kmna of Germany and Team Bora Hansgrohe celebrates winning the stage on the podium ceremony after the 45th Tour of the Alps 2022 Stage 3 a 1546km stage from Lana to Villabassa TouroftheAlps on April 20 2022 in Toblach Hochpustertal Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Lennard Kämna won a stage at the 2022 Tour of the Alps (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The German team has switched strategy and its goal after the departure of Peter Sagan, and the Giro d’Italia is the first major test of their Grand Tour unit.

Wilco Kelderman, Emanuel Buchmann and Jai Hindley all have the ability to finish on the final podium on Verona, with the rest of the team there to help them.

The final week in the high mountains will decide an eventual hierarchy amongst the three and shape Bora-Hansgrohe’s final GC tactics, but their strength in depth could be a match for bigger overall favourites and add an interesting dynamic to the GC racing.

Lennard Kämna has come through a moment of personal crisis in 2021 to return to racing and his innate class to win a stage at the Tour of the Alps. He does not yet want to shoulder any GC responsibility but is a rider to watch and admire if he is allowed to get the mountain breakaways.

Cofidis

  • Team leader: Guillaume Martin
  • Objective: GC and stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Simone Consonni and Davide Cimolai

LAGOS DE COVADONGA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 01 Guillaume Martin of France and Team Cofidis competes during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 17 a 1855km stage from Unquera to Lagos de Covadonga 1085m lavuelta LaVuelta21 on September 01 2021 in Lagos de Covadonga Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Guillaume Martin at the Vuelta a España (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The French team is fighting to avoid WorldTour relegation and so will surely chase UCI points but Guillaume Martin could decide to fight for a top five or even podium spot if he enters the final week on form. Otherwise he is likely to target specific mountain stages and save his legs for the Tour de France.

Martin is making his Giro d’Italia debut, but like Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet, he could become enchanted by the beauty and passion of the Corsa Rosa.  

Simone Consonni and Davide Cimolai will combine to fight in the sprint finishes and could form an interesting duo if they clarify their roles perfectly. They are not the fastest in the Giro peloton but Consonni has proven his own ability while riding for Elia Viviani in recent years. Davide Villella will help Martin but is also dangerous from a breakaway.

Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli

  • Team leader: Jefferson Cepeda
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Riders to watch: Natnael Tesfatsion, Andrii Ponomar

SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Andrii Ponomar of Ukraine and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec competes in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Andrii Ponomar was in the breakaway during the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Gianni Savio has a new title sponsor and a new-look red-and-black jersey but the Italian team’s goal remains the same: get in the breakaways and try to win stages.

Savio searches the world for talented young riders desperate to make a breakthrough. He gives them a stage to perform an experienced team structure and then sells them on to any WorldTour team willing to pay his development fees.

Jefferson Cepada finished second overall in the recent Giro di Sicilia and won the mountainous Le Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc race in 2021. Natnael Tesfatsion won the Tour du Rwanda in February and could be another African talent.

The 19-year-old Andrii Ponomar is from Ukraine but is set to ride his second Giro after finishing 67th in 2021 in his first season as a senior rider. He is the Ukraine national champion and so will fly the flag for his war-torn country and no doubt have special support from around the world while his father fights Russia on the front line in Donbass.    

EF Education-EasyPost

  • Team leader: Hugh Carthy
  • Objective: GC and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Magnus Cort, Odd Christian Eiking

ALTO DE LA MONTAA DE CULLERA SPAIN AUGUST 19 Hugh Carthy of United Kingdom and Team EF Education Nippo crosses the finishing line during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 6 a 1583km stage from Requena to Alto de la Montaa de Cullera 184m lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 19 2021 in Alto de la Montaa de Cullera Spain Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

EF Education First-EasyPost have multiple objectives for the Giro, with Carthy targeting mountain stages and perhaps a top five overall, while Magnus Cort will fight for sprint victories in the hope of repeating his three wins of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana.

The Danish rider crashed out of Tirreno-Adriatico and suffered a broken left collarbone and a fractured trapezium in his right hand. However he has worked hard indoors and more recently outdoors so he can try to complete his set of Grand Tour stage victories. The first rising finish in Visegrád could come a little too early after  his time away from racing but there are plenty of other opportunities during the three weeks.

Carthy finished eighth overall in the 2021 Giro and was third in the 2020 Vuelta a España. The mountainous route should help the tall British rider combine those results and there is no reason why he cannot fight for a podium spot in Verona.

2021 Vuelta a Espana race leader Odd Christian Eiking, Esteban Chaves, Owain Doull and Simon Carr can all win stages, while working to help Carthy and Cort.

Eolo-Kometa

  • Team leader: Lorenzo Fortunato
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Vincenzo Albanese

Team EOLO Kometa Cycling Team rider Italys Lorenzo Fortunato celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 14th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 205km between Citadella and Monte Zoncolan on May 22 2021 Photo by Tommaso Pelagalli AFP Photo by TOMMASO PELAGALLIAFP via Getty Images

Lorenzo Fortunato won stage 14 of the 2021 Giro dItalia atop Monte Zoncolan (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The Italo-Spanish team owned by Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador struck gold on their Giro debut last year when Lorenzo Fortunato won the stage on Monte Zoncolan. This year they hope for similar success and they look to grow and improve in the ProTeam ranks.

Fortunato has spent time at altitude but showed his Giro form with second overall behind Ivan Sosa (Movistar) at the Vuelta Asturias in Spain. He will likely focus on the GC while in the top 10 and only then switch to chasing stage victories.

The more aggressive role will fall to Vincenzo Albanese, who was second on two stages in the Asturias and veterans Francesco Gavazzi and Diego Rosa.

Groupama-FDJ

  • Team leader: Arnaud Démare
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Attila Valter

French rider of team Groupama FDJ Arnaud Demare reacts after he won the 115th edition of the 2123 km ParisTours one day cycling race in Tours Central France on October 10 2021 Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT AFP Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANTAFP via Getty Images

Arnaud Démare won Paris-Tours (Image credit: Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images)

As a French team, Groupama-FDJ are most focussed on the Tour de France but the Giro d'Italia presents some prime opportunities for fast men with eight or nine stages likely to end in a sprint. 

As such, Groupama-FDJ are bringing Arnaud Démare, a five-time stage winner and winner of the points classification in 2020, along with lead-out men Ramon Sinkeldam, Tobias Ludvigsson, Miles Scotson and Jacopo Guarnieri.

Démare suffered the disappointment of not making his team's long-list for the Tour after being time cut in 2021, and Groupama-FDJ are instead backing Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and Michael Storer for the general classification. Démare will be keen to prove himself at the Giro d'Italia.

The team also have the young Hungarian climber Attila Valter in their team for the Giro d'Italia. The 23-year-old led the Giro for three stages last year and has had some strong performances so far this season with a fifth place overall at Tour of the Alps while supporting Storer, and fourth place at Strade Bianche.

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

  • Team leader: Domenico Pozzovivo
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Biniam Girmay

Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Biniam Girmay ERI Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux photo Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022

Biniam Girmay won 2022 Gent Wevelgem (Image credit: Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022)

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux come to the Giro d'Italia with comeback specialist Domenico Pozzovivo ostensibly as their leader, although the 39-year-old is a bit less than his best after being hit by a distracted driver in 2019. The crash left him with a broken arm and leg that required five surgeries to repair.

He returned in 2020 only to crash on the same arm in the first stage of the Tour de France and have another surgery after the wound became infected. Then, after NextHash-Qhubeka lost its sponsor hunt to remain in the WorldTour, he was left without a team until February with Intermarché signed him on.

Pozzovivo has finished in the top 10 of a Grand Tour seven times, with a fifth place in the 2015 Giro his best GC performance. He'll have Tour of Oman winner Jan Hirt at his side along with experienced support riders like Rein Taaramäe and Lorenzo Rota.

But the buzz of the team has been around Biniam Girmay, who confirmed his promise with an outstanding victory in Gent-Wevelgem. Girmay will be their protected sprinter and it will be exciting to see how he will fare in his Grand Tour debut.

Israel-Premier Tech

  • Team leader: Giacomo Nizzolo
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Alessandro De Marchi

Alex Dowsett (Israel-Premier Tech)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Israel-Premier Tech have built their Giro roster around winning sprint stages with Giacomo Nizzolo, with Alex Dowsett, Rik Zabel and Matthias Brändle all part of his lead out train.

Nizzolo showed some consistent early-season form despite not winning a sprint but was forced to miss the Classics and change his Giro preparation after fracturing his hand on the descent of the Poggio  while in the front group at Milan-San Remo. He recently suffered through the mountains at the Tour of the Alps but should come good during the Corsa Rosa.

He won a stage and twice finished second in 2021 with Qhubeka and will surely do better if the Israel-Premier Tech train works perfectly in Italy.

Later in the Giro De Marchi should be a stage hunter via breakaways, and Canada’s Alexander Cataford should also get his chances.

Jumbo-Visma

  • Team leader: Tom Dumoulin
  • Objective: GC and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Tobias Foss

To the winner, the spoils: Tom Dumoulin at the 2017 Giro d’Italia

Dumoulin is one of three former winners at the race (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Dumoulin returns to the Giro as one of only three former winners, hoping to perform consistently again for the first time since his time out of the sport last spring.

The Classy Dutchman’s results have been up and down so far in 2022 due to illness but his Grand Tour pedigree should reassure him. The limited time trials in his year’s race go against him but if Dumoulin can enjoy racing in Italy and avoid problems, he could emerge as a contender in the final week. If not, he will revert to targeting stage victories and helping Foss.

The 24-year-old Norwegian was ninth last year and clearly has the ability to handle Grand Tour racing. He hasn’t raced since quitting the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali but wouldn’t be in the Jumbo-Visma team if was not on form to help Dumoulin or take over from him in the final week. Sam Oomen has a similar role and similar talents.

Lotto Soudal

  • Team leader: Caleb Ewan
  • Objective: Stage wins and points jersey
  • Rider to watch: Thomas De Gendt

CATTOLICA ITALY MAY 12 Caleb Ewan of Australia and Team Lotto Soudal Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and Team Qhubeka Assos sprint at arrival during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 5 a 177km stage from Modena to Cattolica girodiitalia Giro on May 12 2021 in Cattolica Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Ewan shot to two stage victories at the 2021 race (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Lotto Soudal come to italy with one major goal: to help Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan to add to his five career victories at the race. 

Last year Ewan hit the Giro with the intention to take stage wins at all three Grand Tours, taking two wins before leaving the race early.

He'll have a team dedicated to helping him once again this year, with Roger Kluge, Thomas De Gendt, and Michael Schwarzmann set to be in the lead-out train. On paper, Ewan is the quickest man on the start list but will have to face up to the QuickStep-AlphaVinyl lead out including Michael Mørkøv.

At least one victory looks likely, and it'll make the race a success for Lotto Soudal. They'll want as many as possible as they fight WorldTour relegation, though, and a fight for the ciclamino points jersey can't be ruled out, either.

Breakaway specialist De Gendt has faded with age in recent years, though the Belgian is their other main man to watch. You can never count out the wily veteran, who won his sole career Giro stage a decade ago on the Stelvio. 

Movistar

  • Team leaders: Alejandro Valverde and Ivan Sosa
  • Objective: GC and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Will Barta

Vuelta Asturias 2022 - 65th Edition - 2nd stage Candas - Cangas del Narcea 202 km - 30/04/2022 - Ivan Ramiro Sosa (COL - Movistar Team) - photo Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Iván Sosa riding to victory on stage 2 of the 2022 Vuelta Asturias (Image credit: Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

The Spanish team have said its key players at the Giro d'Italia will be Alejandro Valverde and the rider who is fresh from Vuelta a Asturias victory, Iván Sosa, but they haven't outlined the exact roles expected of the the 42-year-old and 24-year-old. 

The riders, at opposite ends of their career, both surprisingly are riding just their second Giro d'Italia, although Valverde does have 30 Grand Tours under the belt.

Valverde could potentially be a card for stage victories but with the form he has been showing this year, including three victories and a second place at La Flèche Wallonne, it's hard to write off his GC potential. 

Though, the Colombian climber, who this season joined Movistar from Ineos Grenadiers, could just as easily fill the role particularly given the leaning away from time-trials. The duo will also have the benefit of a strong group of domestiques, including Antonio Pedrero, who has finished in the top 22 the past two editions and was fifth in Asturias. 

It will also be worth keeping an eye on another new recruit to the team, Will Barta, with the rider from the United States making his Giro d'Italia debut. He hasn't ridden a Grand Tour since the 2020 Vuelta a España, but then he took a second place on the stage 13 time trial and came a respectable 22nd overall and sixth in the young riders classification.

QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl

  • Team leader: Mark Cavendish
  • Objective: stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Mauro Schmid

Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)

Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish already has 15 stage victories from his five Giro d'Italia's so far and has taken home the points jersey. Now after being absent since 2013 is now coming back to claim some more. 

He'll be ably guided by Michael Mørkøv, who helped the Manxman to four stage victories at the Tour de France last year, with a team that's focus has clearly changed from last year when Remco Evenepoel was mounting his GC challenge. Davide Ballerini is also another sprint option for QuickStep but that's not where the squad's stage chasing chances end.

When it comes o the climbs, the squad also includes Mauro Schmid, a stage winner in last year’s Giro at Montalcino, the promising 22-year-old Mauri Vansevenant and James Knox, who came 14th overall in 2020.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco

  • Team leader: Simon Yates
  • Objective: GC podium
  • Rider to watch: Matteo Sobrero

DUNLEPALESTEL FRANCE MARCH 08 Simon Yates of United Kingdom and Team Bikeexchange Jayco C with teammates during the team presentation prior to the 80th Paris Nice 2022 Stage 3 a 191km stage from Vierzon to DunlePalestel ParisNice WorldTour on March 08 2022 in DunlePalestel France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Simon Yates waves prior to stage 3 at Paris-NIce with Lucas Hamilton, who could be a handy support rider in the mountains, on the left (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

There is no question that BikeExchange-Jayco revolves around Simon Yates and his GC challenge, with the Giro d'Italia long being a key target for the team and rider. Third last year has been his best result, so far, but ever since he spent thirteen days in the maglia rosa in 2018 it has been hard to see him as anything but a potential top step contender one day.

The big question for the the 29 year old is whether this is that year. The consistency was certainly there in the final stages last year and the course this year suits but the Briton, for now, is focussing on the podium and will decide if chasing the top step is a reasonable target closer to the final week. 

Not only is it now Yates' fifth attempt at the Giro but he also has a team around him with plenty of experience as road captain Michael Hepburn and Chris Juul-Jensen will both be lining up at the race for a seventh time. The addition of Lucas Hamilton could also bolster the climbing support, particularly if he can put the rocky start to the 2022 season behind him and relocate the form he was showing in the first half of 2021.

Matteo Sobrero is one to watch in the race against the clock, with the Italian having taken fourth in the final individual time trial in 2021. Plus this year with the jersey of the national champion on his back, the 24 year old is likely to be riding along with a huge wave of home nation support.

Team DSM

  • Team leader: Romain Bardet
  • Objective: GC and stage wins 
  • Riders to watch: Alberto Dainese and Cees Bol

LIENZ AUSTRIA APRIL 22 Romain Bardet of France and Team DSM final overall race winner celebrates with his teammate Thymen Arensman of Netherlands and Team DSM White Best Young Rider Jersey after the 45th Tour of the Alps 2022 Stage 5 a 1145km stage from Lienz to Lienz TouroftheAlps on April 22 2022 in Lienz Austria Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Romain Bardet and Thymen Arensman of Team DSM at the Tour of the Alps (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The team's main focus is the General Classification, with Romain Bardet leading the challenge, and looking back to his Grand Tour best after a victory at the Tour of the Alps. He'll also have teammate Thymen Arensman by his side again at the Giro, with the Dutch rider having added to the team's Alps success by taking out the youth classification and third place overall.

It's only the second time the French rider, who was runner up at the Tour de France in 2016, has taken on the Giro d'Italia, making his debut in his first season at Team DSM with seventh overall in 2021. The 31-year-old last year worked his way steadily up the results table to fifth, but gave away two spots in the final race against the clock so will no doubt be looking to less time spent time trialling this edition.

Team DSM, too, has options for the sprints with 24-year-old Italian, Alberto Dainese, making his Giro d'Italia debut alongside 26-year-old Cees Bol, who delivered two podium finishes at the Tour de France in 2020.

Trek-Segafredo

  • Team leader: Giulio Ciccone
  • Objective: GC and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Bauke Mollema

SEGA DI ALA ITALY MAY 26 Giulio Ciccone of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 17 a 193km stage from Canazei to Sega di Ala 1246m UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 26 2021 in Sega di Ala Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Giulio Ciccone enjoyed the best Giro of his career last year before crashes put him out of the race late on (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

A year ago, Giulio Ciccone was set for the best result of his career, riding high in contention for a possible podium before crashes on stage 17 put him out of the race.

The Italian is one of very few home GC hopes this time around, and likely represents the best chance of any home riders to finish high up in Verona. If he climbs like he did last time out then a first career top 10 finish looks a cert. Adding to his two stage wins – in 2017 and 2019 – wouldn't go amiss, either.

Elsewhere, the team can look to Bauke Mollema for support and a possible top 10 bid of his own to add to similar results in 2017 and 2019, though the Dutchman has only raced a handful of days in the last month. 

Edward Theuns can mix it up in the sprints, while the rest of the team will likely be seen in breaks through the race.

UAE Team Emirates

  • Team leader:  João Almeida 
  • Objective: GC podium and stage wins
  • Rider to watch: Fernando Gaviria

Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2022 - 101st Edition - 4th stage La Seu d’Urgell - Boí Taüll 166,5 km - Joao Almeida (POR - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

 João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) after winning the mountain top sprint on stage 4 of the Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

After a sixth place last year at the Giro d'Italia and fourth in 2020, the podium seems within reach for João Almeida, who has been training at altitude since coming third overall and taking a mountain top stage victory at Volta a Catalunya. 

UAE Team Emirates, which Almeida made the switch to this year from QuickStep, may not exactly have a record of Giro GC success, but obviously know how to deliver a Grand Tour results topping performance. 

There are also plenty of riders with stage victories at the race – including Davide Formolo and Diego Ulissi – to support the 23 year old, who wore the pink jersey for two weeks during his 2021 debut.

Five-time Giro stage winner and 2017 points jersey winner Fernando Gaviria will also be lining up for the squad, with the sprinter diverting the focus a little from the GC challenge, but also helping spread the results pressure. 

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Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.