Etixx-QuickStep announced their nine-man line-up for the Giro d’Italia that kicks off on May 6 with a short time trial in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The team will be well-prepared for the opening sprint stages with the likes of Marcel Kittel vying for those early stage wins.
“We’re not making any secret of the fact that we’re coming here motivated to help Marcel get a stage victory and I think we have the potential to do that,” said director Davide Bramati.
Following the time trial, the Italian Grand Tour will host a number of stages to showcase the sprinters in the field during the opening week. It will be a chance for Kittel to shine in a race that he did not start last year, and where after winning two early stages in the 2014 edition, was forced to abandon due to illness.
Kittel has won multiple races so far this season, including the overall classification the Dubai Tour, stages of Volta ao Algarve and Three Days of De Panne, Scheldeprijs and most recently a stage at the Tour de Romandie, proving that his turbulent 2015 season has been put to rest.
This year’s Etixx-QuickStep team for the Giro d’Italia will also include Gianluca Brambilla, David De La Cruz, Bob Jungels, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry, Matteo Trentin, Carlos Verona and Lukasz Wisniowski.
“Besides Marcel, we want to see how our young guys – Bob, David and Carlos – will fare on the climbs, especially those in the second half of the race, where also Gianluca can have an important word to say. I’m glad to have Matteo on the squad, who we can use as joker, but also Pieter, Lukasz and Fabio, all strong and reliable riders, who will support our leaders,” Bramati said.
Sabatini, Wisniowski and Trentin will be expected to help Kittel in the flatter stages. Riders reserved for the climbing stages will be De la Cruz and Verona.
Pulling double duty, Trentin and Wisniowski, along with Brambilla and Serry will have opportunities for aggressive stages.
Jungels, a promising new rider on the team, will debut at the Giro d’Italia and the team expects it to be a learning experience for him, but hope that he will have an impact on the climbing stages, too.
Etixx-QuickStep for the Giro d’Italia: Gianluca Brambilla, David De La Cruz, Bob Jungels, Marcel Kittel, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry, Matteo Trentin, Carlos Verona and Lukasz Wisniowski.