Team Sky confirms Bradley Wiggins’ support team for the Giro d’Italia
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Team Sky confirms Bradley Wiggins’ support team for the Giro d’Italia

by Ben Atkins at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
British team aiming for Italian race to add to its 2012 Tour de France crown

bradley wigginsSky Procycling has confirmed the nine-man roster of riders that it will send to next month’s Giro d’Italia, as Bradley Wiggins aims to add the Italian Grand Tour to his Tour de France victory of 2012. The British team will line up as one of the most powerful in the race, with many of those that guided Wiggins to his Tour victory present.

With last year’s Tour runner-up Chris Froome set to lead Team Sky in the race this July, Wiggins has set his sights on the Giro and, with more time trial kilometres in the Italian race this year, he feels the course suits him well.

“Alongside the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix the Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest bike races in the world and one I’d love to win,” he said.  “I’ve watched the Giro since I was a kid and have seen my idols win it, which makes it even more special.  It has always been a race that I’ve wanted to ride well in and I just can’t wait to get started. 

“I believe the Giro team this year is just as strong as the Tour de France team last year and the results prove that everyone is ready to go.”

Team principle Dave Brailsford is confident that, while Wiggins’ results have not matched those of 2012 - when he won Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné on the way to his Tour glory - his top rider’s form is where it needs to be for him to be at his best for the Giro.

“We’ve had a good run into the Giro, have a strong squad and the preparation has gone well,” he said. “The final touches have been put in place after the Giro del Trentino and we’re all set to go. 

“It’s well-documented that the Giro has been a season goal for Bradley,” Brailsford explained. “With that in mind we want to get the best performance possible and try to win the race. If you work back from there you need support in the mountains and a strong nucleus of the team who can work hard.

“We’ve got quality climbing support and some really big engines too,” he added. “There’s also the team time trial to think about and we’ve got a very strong squad.”

One of Team Sky’s big signings of the winter was Italian Dario Cataldo who, along with compatriot Salvatore Puccio, will be lining up at the start of his home Grand Tour. The 28-year-old from Abruzzo finished 12th in last year’s race but, even though he will be working for Wiggins in this year’s race, feels that it will be as special as always to race in the Giro.

“The Giro d’Italia is the biggest and most popular race in Italy,” Cataldo said. “Even people who don’t follow cycling that much in Italy follow the Giro. There are some really incredible places to ride in Italy and that is one of the things that makes the race so beautiful.

“When I was six or seven years old I went to watch the Giro at the side of the road,” he continued. “I got some bottles from the riders and then when I started cycling I always went to watch the race to feel what real cycling is like.  This year is even more special for me as I will go to the Giro with the national flag on my skinsuit as time trial champion. To be riding in a big team like this with a big goal will make it a really emotional race.”

The 2013 Giro will begin in the city of Naples on May 4th with a road stage; Team Sky will be one of the hot favourites for the following day’s 17.4km team time trial, between Ischia and Forio - on the volcanic island of Ischia - where Wiggins will look to take the first time out of his rivals.

Sky Procycling team for the Giro d’Italia
Dario Cataldo, Sergio Henao, Christian Knees, Danny Pate, Salvatore Puccio, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Rigoberto Urán, Bradley Wiggins and Xabier Zandio

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