Thursday's press conferences:
- Quick StepFloors 15:30 CET
- Movistar 17:00 CET
- Team Sky 17:30 CET
- Teams' presentation 18:30-20:30 CET
Cyclingnews' Giro coverage
2017 Giro d'Italia race preview
It's official, just one day remaining until the Giro d'Italia kicks off in Alghero. Riders and their teams arrived earlier this week and there the first press pre-race conferences were held yesterday. We'll bring you the rest of them today and the team presentation later this evening as we build-up to the first Grand Tour of the season.
In Bahrain-Merida's pre-race press conference, the team unveiled Vincenzo Nibali's not so understated steed for the for the Giro d'Italia. It's got quite a lot of gold on it, but don't just believe me, take a look at it here.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 4th May 2017 09:18:26
In the latest edition of the Cyclingnews podcast, the team discussed the race row that broke out at the Tour de Romandie last week, Chris Froome's early-season form and picked their top 3 for the Giro d'Italia. Listen to the podcast here.
Do you have your own thoughts on the Giro d'Italia podium? Why not tweet us on @Cyclingnewsfeed and we will post some of your predictions here throughout the day.
@Ride_Argyle Thu, 4th May 2017 09:37:04
Make sure you don't miss a moment of this year's Giro d'Italia with out detailed look at how to follow all the action here.
BMC has headed out for their final roll-out ahead of the Giro d'Italia.
It's rare that riders big up their chances too much ahead of a Grand Tour, or any race really, and Tom Dumoulin played down the likelihood that he would take victory when he spoke to the press yesterday. Read what he had to say here. Cyclingnews also spoke to him last month about his transition into a GC contender. You can find that interview here.
The Orica-Scott riders have been out on the bike this morning too. Look at that weather. They are expecting sunshine and clear skies throughout the weekend.
@robhatchtv Thu, 4th May 2017 10:04:55
In the build-up to this year's Giro d'Italia, one of the most talked about things was a proposed descending competition. Many riders spoke out about it and Peter Stetina even said he was disturbed by the idea. In the end, the organisers decided to can the idea, although they weren't best pleased about it.
Yesterday evening, Belgian broadcaster Sporza reported on a much better received competition. According to them, a cafe near the Stelvio will reward the heaviest rider to climb the cima coppi on stage 16 with 100 bottles of beer.
@quickstepteam Thu, 4th May 2017 10:20:08
The official start list with bib numbers has finally been unveiled. See exactly who will be taking part in the Giro d'Italia here.
More training ride photos from this morning. This one is from Movistar, as Nairo Quintana embarks on his Giro-Tour double challenge. He's got a a very experienced team around him for the first part of it, which you can read about it here.
Like Tom Dumoulin, Vincenzo Nibali was fairly guarded about his chances at the Giro d'Italia. He didn't directly pin his flag to the top step but said that he was aiming for the podium. Read his full comments here.
"I think people know what my dream would be," he said when asked about his goal for the race.
"In truth, I want to try to finish on the podium. It won't be easy but we've all worked hard to be at our best for the Giro. We know we face some big rivals – we're aware of that. The Giro is a long challenge; it's 21 days, with lots of unknowns. [Race director] Mauro Vegni has added something special this year that wasn't there before. It's harder than in recent years."
If you're interested in looking at bikes then we've got just the thing for you. Josh Evans was a busy bee out at the Tour de Romandie taking photos of the tech on show, including the one below of Sebastien Reichenbach's bike. See the full gallery here.
This yea'rs Giro d'Italia has a long list of contenders with several riders eschewing the Tour de France for the corsa rosa. Cyclingnews selected 10 that we think you should keep an eye on. Want to know who we selected? Then head over here.
@inCycleTV Thu, 4th May 2017 11:10:37
Tejay van Garderen will be making his Giro d'Italia debut this week. The American decided to take a different path in 2017 and while the build-up to the Giro hasn't been perfect he's determined to focus on the general classification. Read his full comments here.
"I just wanted to try and take a different approach," he told Cyclingnews.
"I'm not going to put a number on it. Of course the goal is GC, I'm not going there to hunt stages or take in the Italian scenery. I want to go for GC.
"Nairo Quintana is the favourite and aside from him I don't think that I need to be afraid of anyone. Where that lands me on GC, I don't know. If you put a number on it then it sets you up for failure. So if I say podium, podium, podium, and finish fourth, then that's failure. I have in my mind what I want to do but I just want to keep that to myself."
We have been counting down to the Giro d'Italia with a series of 10 features. Yesterday's penultimate countdown piece was a look back at the 1987 Giro d'Italia, where Stephen Roche won and usurped his teammate Robert Visentini. Read the excellent recount of the story by our own Barry Ryan here.
Adam Hansen will be riding his 17th consecutive Grand Tour when the Giro d'Italia begins. That's quite some accomplishment. He took a spin this morning in Sardinia to give his legs one last spin before the race begins.
For everything you need to know about the Giro's route and a few more things, check out our big preview by Stephen Farrand, who is out in Sardinia at the moment.
@TDWsport Thu, 4th May 2017 11:44:18
We're about an hour and a half away from the first press conference of today. That will be Quick-Step Floors with their team leader Bob Jungels. The Luxembourg rider finished sixth overall at last year's Giro d'Italia and took home the young riders classification.
Quick-Step Floors also has Fernando Gaviria in their line-up. It is Gaviria's first Grand Tour and it will be interesting to see how he fairs against the other sprinters.
Take a look at their full line-up here.
@TeamUAEAbuDhabi Thu, 4th May 2017 11:57:49
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 4th May 2017 12:01:29
The team DSs are currently in the pre-race meeting. It is here where they will be given any special information regarding regulations. Any necessary safety notices will be made and they are allowed to ask any questions of the organisers. These meetings happen before every race and are important for the smooth running of the race.
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) has quietly gone about the business of picking up Giro d'Italia stage wins in recent seasons, but the German is aiming to make a big impression on the 100th Giro by claiming the first maglia rosa of the race in Olbia tomorrow. "Nothing that you've won in the past helps in situations like this, you always start from zero. And on Friday I want to be in the sprint, the Giro leader's jersey would be a nice one to wear. I wouldn't say no, so I'm looking forward to it," Greipel said yesterday. Alasdair Fotheringham has the full story here.
Another man with designs on an early spell in the maglia rosa is Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale). The climber is keenly aware that victory on stage 4 to Mount Etna could also yield the overall lead. "Let’s not say it too loudly, mind," Pozzovivo told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "This year we don’t start with a time trial or a team time trial so, unless there are surprises here in Sardinia, the first stage to provoke time gaps should be on Mount Etna..."
Alejandro Valverde, third a year ago, is an absentee in 2017 but the Spaniard will link up with Nairo Quintana on Movistar’s Tour de France team in July. Quintana will set out from Dusseldorf as the team leader, but the 37-year-old Valverde has been mining a remarkably rich seam of form this season. He pledged his allegiance to Quintana at the Tour in an interview with Marca today, though he added a qualifier. “The Tour leader will be Nairo and I will do everything I can to help him,” Valverde said. “But the race will put everyone in their place."
Chad Haga is part of a strong Sunweb team built around Tom Dumoulin's podium challenge, and the American spent part of the build-up to the race training at altitude with his team leader. He talked Alasdair Fotheringham through his Giro preparation yesterday.
Alasdair Fotheringham caught up with Adam Yates after his training ride this morning. The Briton is eager to get his Giro debut under way. “Every race is different, it’s a new challenge, I’ve done the Tour for the past two years so I just want to get started instead of being sat here on my arse,” Yates said. Quite. The full interview will be online very shortly.
@KTee96 Thu, 4th May 2017 12:31:30
@EquipeFDJ Thu, 4th May 2017 14:18:21
That's Thibaut Pinot on his way into the FDJ team's press conference, where he'll be quizzed on his ambitions for the race and his excitement at switching to the Giro after seemingly reaching an impasse in the pressure cooker that is the Tour de France for a French GC rider.
FDJ boss Marc Madiot wrote about his team leader in his latest blog for Cyclingnews, which you can find here:
'I just want to get started instead of being sat here on my arse'
As promised, here's the full interview with an impatient Adam Yates.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 4th May 2017 14:36:35
No smiles, either, at the Quick-Step presser. That has concluded now, and we'll have stories on the Belgian team's two leaders, Bob Jungels and Fernando Gaviria, on the way shortly.
Time for Movistar now, featuring the rider who in the eyes of many is the top favourite...
Quite the scrum for Quintana as the video journalists are given their turn
While we're on Quintana, why not have a read of Alasdair Fotheringham's feature on the Colombian's Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double attempt, with plenty of input form one of the chief architects, Movistar DS Jose Luis Arrieta.
@AstanaTeam Thu, 4th May 2017 15:14:10
There are the Astana guys on their final spin ahead of the big day. Sadly, there are only eight of them out there. Michele Scarponi, who had been set to lead the team, tragically lost his life nearly two weeks ago after being hit by a van during a training ride. The team have opted to honour the Italian, who was instrumental in Nibali's victory last year, by not calling up a replacement, leaving his race number unoccupied and the team a man short. It will be an emotional three weeks for the team.
A reminder to bookmark this page
It's our Giro d'Italia hub page. Route details, maps, profiles, full start list, videos, and links to all our Giro 100 content - it's all in here, and we'll be updating it constantly as the race develops.
The team presentation is underway with a nice crowd gathered to see the teams that will compete over the next three weeks.
Astana's Fabio Aru is on stage now addressing the crowd. Astana pulled Aru from the race because his recovery from a knee injury sustained in training meant he would not be prepared for the race
The Giro is currently paying tribute to Michele Scaarponi with a beautifully produced video recap of his career.
The Astana team has been introduced to the crowd after the Scarponi tribute.
It's CCC Sprandi Polkowice's turn next.
The athletes are riding their bikes across the stage as the host introduces them individually
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:00:24
Bora - Hansgrohe is heading toward the stage now, led by Jan Barta
@Ride_Argyle Thu, 4th May 2017 16:57:19
The all-Russian Gazprom-RusVelo is taking the stage now. The team is hoping Sergey Firsanov can bring the results over the next three weeks.
Another wildcard team is next, with Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia and Filippo Pozzato on stage.
@Ride_Argyle Thu, 4th May 2017 17:02:25
Another Italian wildcard is next, with Bardiani - CSF
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:06:27
It's Dimension Data's turn next, led on stage by Australian Nathan Haas
Domenic Pozzovivo leads AG2R La Mondialeon stage next. The French WorldTour squad also features Italian Matteo Montaguti for the Giro.
@dougryd Thu, 4th May 2017 17:09:02
There's a brief break in the action now as the next teams are queued up. While we're waiting, check out this gold leaf bike Merida customised for Vincenzo Nibali
it's Cannondale-Drapac on stage now. The team is coming into the race without a designated leader.
Lotto Soudal is up next. Team sprinter Andre Greipel is targeting his first pink jersey this year.
UAE Team Emirates is being introduced. Rui Costa wears No. 1 as the team's leader for the Giro.
Here comes US-registered WorldTour Team BMC Racing. Tejay van Garderen is the leader for the team, with Rohan Dennis ready to pick up the baton if necessary. Van Garderen recently told Cyclingnews he's not in Italy for the scenery.
Orica-Scott is on stage now. The team is hoping Simon Yates can bring hime the results. Yates told Cyclingnews he's champing the the bit for the race to get started.
Ilnur Zakarin leads the Katusha-Alpecin on stage next.
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:24:54
Trek-Segafredo is introduced. Bauke Mollema will take the leadership reins for the US WorldTour team at the Giro. Mollema says he's hoping to win a stage, and that maybe this will be the year.
@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 4th May 2017 17:28:06
@stefandenifl Thu, 4th May 2017 17:26:03
Tom Dumoulin leads Team Sunweb on stage. The 26-year-old Dutchman is hoping to build on his 2016 effort, when he won the opening stage and wore the Maglia Rosa for five days before abandoning n stage 11.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Thu, 4th May 2017 17:30:46
@dougryd Thu, 4th May 2017 17:31:01
@Bahrain_Merida Thu, 4th May 2017 17:40:55
It's jersey presentation time now. Who will wear the first Maglia Rosa tomorrow in Olbia?
After a brief break in the action, LottoNL-Jumbo takes the stage with leader Steven Kruijswijk, who was a snowbank away from winning the overall last year.
Crowd favourite Quick-Step Floor is riding onto the stage, ed by young Bob Jungels.
Here comes FDJ led by Thibaut Pinot, who will be starting his first Giro d'Italia
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:49:49
Team Sky is taking the stage next with the double GC threat of Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas.
@EquipeFDJ Thu, 4th May 2017 17:53:34
Race favourite and Nairo Quintana and Movistar take the stage next. The Colombian recently told Cyclingnews he's taking a caution approach to his attempt at the Giro-Tour double this year. Read the story here.
Now it' time for defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and his Bahrain-Merida team. Nibali addresses the crowd Italian and garners he applause.
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:56:24
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 17:59:19
The trophy is making a gran appearance now, carried on stage by model in a white, flowing gown as smoke machines pump out a light fog. Nobody ever accused the Italians of not knowing how to make an entrance.
@giroditalia Thu, 4th May 2017 18:05:28
It's race time!
Remember, tomorrow's opening stage starts at Start: 12:10 CET. Earliest predicted finish is 16:59.
Read up on how to follow the 2017 Giro d'Italia right here.
Once again, Cyclingnews will have full live coverage from start to finish of every stage of the Giro d’Italia. We'll be there from sign-on for the build-up to each stage, through to the post-stage reaction, covering every pedal stroke in between.
And some bad news for the Giro and cycling today as the UCI confirmed two riders from Bardiani CSF - Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni - gave samples in an out-of-competition test that were positive for GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs).
Read the story HERE.
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