Jungels, who finished in the top 10 and won the white jersey for best young rider in 2016 and 2017, spearheads the Belgian team’s GC ambitions, while Viviani will look to repeat his haul of four sprint victories last year.
Viviani is also set to ride the Tour de France in July and, with the vast majority of sprint stages concentrated in the first half of the 2019 Giro, it is uncertain whether he will trek through the mountains to finish the race. That would rule out a defense of the maglia cicliamino, the purple points classification jersey he won last year.
Viviani, motivated to race the Giro in the Italian's national champion's jersey, only has one member of his normal lead-out train, Fabio Sabatini, with him in the QuickStep line-up, with Michael Morkov left at home. Florian Senechal will be expected to assist in the run-ins on the flat stages but otherwise it’s a team more geared around Jungels.
The Luxembourg champion focused on the cobbled classics for the first time this spring, enjoying instant success, and must now make make the switch back to the rigours of GC riding. He took a break after the Tour of Flanders and has since been building his condition back up in training, without racing.
The three time trials, all with some climbing element, will suit Jungels’ natural abilities as a rouleur. In the mountains he’ll be supported by two Grand Tour debutants in James Knox and Mikkel Honore, both of whom have impressed this season. Experienced and versatile domestiques Pieter Serry and Eros Capecchi round out the eight-man squad.
"We come here with two leaders: Elia Viviani – who is backed by a very strong sprint train, will look to win again stages in front of his home crowd, this time in the Italian National Champion jersey – and Bob, who’s going to have another tilt at the GC favoured by the three stages against the clock," said director Davide Bramati.
"There are a number of stages which should be important in the fight for the overall – from Ceresole Reale and Courmayeur to the one featuring both Gavia and Mortirolo – but the plan is to take it day by day and see what happens."
Deceuninck-QuickStep for the 2019 Giro d’Italia: Bob Jungels, Elia Viviani, Eros Capecchi, Mikkel Honore, James Knox, Fabio Sabatini, Florian Senechal, Pieter Serry.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.