More teams have confirmed their final rider selections for the Giro d’Italia as they prepare to set off for Turin for the final build-up to the race and Saturday’s opening team time trial.
The teams all submitted long lists of 12 riders to race organiser RCS Sport in April, but now Movistar, Geox-TMC, Quick Step, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Team Sky have all confirmed their final starting nine.
Italy’s Marzio Bruseghin was expected to be confirmed as one of the leaders of the Movistar team but doubts arose about his presence in the Giro after he was caught up in the Mantova doping investigation. He was initially given race number 122 by RCS Sport but was not included in the list of nine names issued by the team today.
The nine are: David Arroyo, Pablo Lastras, Vasil Kiryienka, Sergio Pardilla, Luis Pasamontes, Branislau Samoilau, Ignatas Konovalovas, Carlos Oyarzun and Francisco Ventoso.
Arroyo finished second overall in the 2010 Giro d’Italia after gaining 12 minutes on the other overall contenders in a breakaway on the stage 11 to L’Aquila.
Menchov and Sastre lead Geox-TMC
Geox-TMC has built its team around Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre as the Professional Continental team targets overall victory.
Menchov won the 2009 Giro despite a spectacular crash in the final time trial in Rome. The Russian has also won the 2005 and 2007 Vuelta Espana, meaning he is the most successful of the all the contenders in this year’s Giro.
Sastre won the 2008 Tour de France and won two mountain stages at the 2009 Giro while riding with Cervelo.
Also in the team are Spain's David Blanco and Rafael Valls, Colombians Mauricio Ardila and Fabio Duarte, Italian Gian Paolo Cheula, Russian Dimitriy Kozontchuk and Switzerland's Marcel Wyss.
Ciolek, Chicchi and Pineau lead Quick Step
Quick Step has named a young team that will target stage victories with sprinters Gerald Ciolek and Francesco Chicchi, while Frenchman Jerome Pineau will look to perform in the mountains and finish in the top ten of the final classification.
The full Quick Step line-up is: Dario Cataldo, Francesco Chicchi, Gerald Ciolek, Addy Engels, Davide Malacarne, Jerome Pineau, Francesco Reda, Kevin Seeldraeyers and Kristof Vandewalle.
Löfkvist heads Team Sky, Anton protected at Euskaltel-Euskadi
Cyclingnews revealed that Peter Kennaugh has taken the place of Serge Pauwels in the Team Sky line-up on Monday. The British team has now confirmed its full line-up for the race, with Thomas Löfkvist as team leader, while Russell Downing and Italy’s Davide Appollonio will target the sprint stages.
Löfkvist wore the race leader’s pink jersey in the Giro for a day in 2009. He will be supported by the experienced Anglo-Italian Dario David Cioni, Michael Barry, Kjell Carlström, Peter Kennaugh, Lars-Petter Nordhaug and Morris Possoni. Sean Yates will be the directeur sportif for Team Sky in Italy.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi team will arrive in Italy on Wednesday with the aim of helping Igor Anton in the numerous mountain stages. Also in the Basque team are Mikel Nieve, Juan Jose Oroz, Iñaki Isasi, Javier Aramendía, Jorge Azanza, Pierre Cazaux, Daniel Sesma and