Intxausti leads Movistar at the Giro d'Italia
Movistar will be without the defending champion Nairo Quintana at this year's Giro d'Italia. Instead it will be former pink jersey wearer and stage winner Beñat Intxausti that will lead the team's general classification ambitions. Intxausti finished eighth in last year’s race 10:26 behind Quintana.
“This Giro should be the confirmation of Beñat's abilities: it's a race he already knows, he's done really well there and finished in the overall top-10,” said team manager Eusebio Unzué.
Joining Intxausti in the line-up will be fellow Basque rider Igor Antón, who won on the Monte Zoncolan in 2011. The 32-year-old ended a near-four-year win drought at the Vuelta Asturias last weekend, taking a stage win and the overall classification. His recent performance helped him make the final cut, as Unzué explains:
"All 11 riders preselected have come to this part of the season in excellent form. Igor Antón's big progression during the last weeks, from País Vasco to his victory in Asturias, has been the key to this final selection - and having him into the Giro team."
Completing the line-up will be: Andrey Amador, Rubén Plaza, Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre, Juan Jose Lobato, Dayer Quintana and Giovanni Visconti.
Katusha for the Giro d'Italia
Katusha have named the nine men that they will be taking to the Giro d'Italia this weekend. With no single leader, the team will be targeting stage victories. Following his Tour de Romandie victory Ilnur Zakarin will be making his Grand Tour debut at the race. Gent-Wevelgem winner Luca Paolini also returns to the race. Despite his lengthy career, it will only be Paolini's third appearance at his home race. The Italian made his debut at the race in 2013, taking a solo victory on stage 3 to Marina di Ascea.
Maxim Belkov, Sergei Chernetckii, Pavel Kochetkov, Sergey Lagutin, Aleksandr Porsev, Yuri Trofimov and Anton Vorobyev have also been named.
Bongiorno, Pirazzi and Battaglin highlight Bardiani-CSF's Giro roster
Bardiani-CSF have made only one change to their Giro d'Italia squad from last year. Bardiani had a fantastic Giro d'Italia in 2014, going home with three stage victories. There may have been a fourth had Francesco Bongiorno not been disrupted by an over enthusiastic fan. Bongiorno along with stage winners Stefano Pirazzi and Enrico Battaglin are part of the nine-man team that will take part in the Corsa Rosa.
Marco Canola, who won stage 13 to Rivarolo Canavese, is the only rider missing after he switched to UnitedHealthcare over the winter. In his place the 22-year-old Luca Chirico gets a chance to make his Grand Tour debut.
Also returning to the Giro d'Italia will be: Enrico Barbin, Nicola Boem, Sonny Colbrelli, Nicola Ruffoni and Edoardo Zardini.
Top 10 contenders to watch
Only four days remain until the start of the Giro d'Italia in San Lorenzo al Mare this Saturday and most of the teams have named their rosters for the three-week race. Alberto Contador and Richie Porte go into the race as the two most tipped for victory. Unsurprisingly they have made our list of potential winners, but see who else we've picked for our top 10 contender to watch in the below video.
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