The organisers of the Giro d'Italia, RCS, have announced the provisional list of the 22 team leaders for the Italian grand tour. The 3,489km three week race starts on Saturday May 9 with a team time trial in San Lorenzo al Mare and finishes in Milan on May 31. Four previous winners in Damiano Cunego (2004), Ivan Basso (2006 and 2010), Alberto Contador (2008) and Ryder Hesjedal (2012) have all been confirmed for the race along with numerous stage winners.
Overall challengers Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Fabio Aru (Astana) are also confirmed as is the runner up at the last two editions of the Giro, Rigoberto Urán (Etixx-Quick Step) while Lotto-Soudal's Jurgen Van den Broeck also represents a potential top-five finisher.
While riders such as Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) and Juan José Lobato (Movistar) have already announced their appearances at the Giro, the likes of Australian national champion Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling), Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) and Mikel Landa (Astana) have been confirmed as starters.
Italian Alessandro Petacchi returns to the Giro where he has won 22 stages throughout his career and the points classification in 2004. Other multiple Italian stages winners in Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) are also listed by RCS as is Luca Paolini (Katusha), who wore the maglia rosa in 2013.
On sale now is the Procycling Official Giro d'Italia 2015 programme which features all the routes, rider profiles and stage analyses, and also takes in some stunning photography from Giros gone by – and includes a free 66-page book, Giro Tales, to help bring that rich history to life. It's all you need to get fully immersed in this most 'vertically challenging' of stage races.
The guide is also available electronically for iPad and iPhone users via the Procycling magazine app.
Teams and leader for the 2015 Giro d'Italia