Ineos Grenadiers have published their 2022 Giro d’Italia lineup with 2019 winner Richard Carapaz confirmed as overall leader, for what on paper is set to be one of the most powerful GC squads of the race.
A podium finisher in all three Grand Tours, fourth in 2018 and with an unexpected but well-deserved outright victory in the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Carapaz aims to succeed fellow South American Egan Bernal as the overall winner again this May. A second Carapaz overall win on May 29 in Verona - the same city where the race finished in 2019 and with a similar short time trial as well - would also be Ineos Grenadiers’ fourth in the Giro d’Italia in five years.
Perhaps the most eye-catching absence from the 2022 Ineos Grenadiers lineup is Londoner Tao Geoghegan Hart, the surprise winner in 2020, who has reportedly been ill in recent weeks. His compatriot Tom Pidcock, initially thought as a possible Giro participant for Ineos Grenadiers but now said to be likely to do the Tour de France, is also not present.
British fans, though, will be able to follow the progress of 20-year-old Ben Tulett, already a winner this year in Italy in Coppi e Bartali and now making his debut in a Grand Tour.
Carapaz will also be able to count on the presence of Grand Tour veteran challenger Richie Porte, gifted climber Pavel Sivakov, and talented all-rounders of the calibre of Jhonathan Narvaez, former Giro d’Italia leader Salvatore Puccio and current British National Champion Ben Swift. Also taking part is one of cycling’s most dependable team workers of recent years, Basque Jonathan Castroviejo, riding his 15th Grand Tour.
"When I won the Giro d’Italia in 2019 it was something really special, above all it was always a race that I wanted to compete in, so to win it was an incredible moment," Carapaz said in a team press release.
"It was a significant win for my country. It started a new era in cycling for Ecuador. It also had an impact on me mentally, as it showed me that I had the ability to be a successful Grand Tour racer."
Porte is still missing a victory this season, but has finished strong at two stage race, fourth overall at Tirreno-Adriatico and seventh overall at Tour of the Alps.
"I did my amateur days in Italy and that was like my cycling apprenticeship," added Porte. "Then I went to the Giro in 2010 as a neo-pro and the next thing you know, I wore the pink jersey for three days.
"That was incredible and still some of the best memories of my career to be honest. It’s a privilege to go full circle and finish up at the Giro for my last Grand Tour."
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The Independent, The Guardian, ProCycling, The Express and Reuters.