Simon Yates is looking to make up for the disastrous end to his 2018 Giro d'Italia and claim the overall victory in this year's edition in Verona on June 2. The young Briton will lead a Mitchelton-Scott team packed with strong climbers, including Esteban Chaves and Mikel Nieve.
Last year, Yates took the overall lead on the sixth stage and held on to it for 13 stages, winning three stages along the way. He faded as the race hit the high mountains in the final week, losing 38 minutes on a dramatic stage 19 over the Colle delle Finestre and ending the the race more than an hour down on the overall winner Chris Froome in 21st place.
"In a way I have unfinished business at the Giro, but I would just like to have another go. We were so close last year so I’m motivated to give it another go and I’m trying to arrive in the best shape possible to try and do that," Yates said in the team's press release.
"I like to race aggressively but you can’t always do that unfortunately and that’s what I really learnt from last season. I will apply those lessons and hopefully come off with the win."
“I wanted to go back to the Giro, that’s what’s driving me at the moment, and that’s what I have the passion to get out of bed for every morning. I’m approaching the Giro the same way I would do any other race. I am, more or less, always in a leadership role within the team and I really like to try to win every race I start, so for me it’s just business as usual."
Yates will be supported in the opening flat stages by Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge and Chris Juul-Jensen. Then he will have a “formidable force in the mountains” with Brent Bookwalter, Lucas Hamilton, Nieve and Chaves.
"You’re only as good as your last win, and our last Grand Tour was a win so naturally we’re going into the Giro as one of the favourites," said Head Sport Director Matt White.
"We’re heading to Italy with the aim of finishing off the job this year. That may mean we don’t win as many stages, but we’re looking at the bigger prize. We’re 12months on from the last edition, we’ve learnt a lot in those 12months, and our job is to put that to good use across the three weeks of racing."
Mitchelton-Scott for the Giro d'Italia: Simon Yates, Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge, Chris Juul-Jensen, Brent Bookwalter, Lucas Hamilton, Mikel Nieve and Esteban Chaves.