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Giro d'Italia

Analyzing EF Education-EasyPost’s Giro d’Italia team

Hugh Carthy and Magnus Cort headline American team for the first grand tour of the season.

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EF Education-EasyPost heads into the Giro d’Italia with a dynamic eight-rider team stacked with stage hunters and a genuine top-five contender in Hugh Carthy. There is no place for Esteban Chaves, but the American team has thrown its weight behind Carthy, who made the top ten last year and claimed a spot on the podium at the Vuelta a España in 2020. Magnus Cort will be hoping to complete his set of grand tour stage wins, while there are a number of Giro d’Italia debutants on the team.

Hugh Carthy

Hugh Carthy gave away more time in the GC on stage 6
Hugh Carthy (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Age:27
Giro d’Italia results: 8th overall in 2021
Role: Team leader
VeloNews analysis: Carthy heads into the race on the back of an up and down spring due to illness. His preparation for the Giro d’Italia hasn’t been ideal but he showed in the Tour of the Alps that he’s back on track and should therefore come good in the second of the Giro. In recent times he hasn’t been able to hit the level he reached at the 2020 Vuelta but last year he was well and truly in the mix for a Giro podium until things began to unravel. If Carthy can have a clear run, and avoid illness, he should once again be at the pointy end of the GC come the final week. The route is almost perfect for him, and at the very least he should be targeting a stage win and a top-10 overall.

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Magnus Cort

Magnus Cort celebrates his third victory at the Vuelta a Espana
Magnus Cort celebrates his third victory at the 2021 Vuelta a España (Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP via Getty Images)

Age: 29
Giro d’Italia results: Debutant
Role: Stage hunter
VeloNews analysis: It’s a gamble. Cort hasn’t raced since breaking a collarbone in March, at Tirreno-Adriatico, and while training can get you so far, it doesn’t really give athletes that top-end edge that competition can provide. There are obviously exceptions to that rule — just look at two Slovenians who are carving up grand tours these days — but Cort’s participation comes with an element of risk. He wants to complete his set of grand tour stages, and his winter base level is obviously not a problem, but it’s hard to envisage the Dane hitting the ground running in Budapest. The participation of Van der Poel probably doesn’t help his chances of taking stages but the best-case scenario is Cort is able to feel himself into the opening week before targeting stages in the second half of the race.

Simon Carr

Simon Carr is making his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia
Simon Carr made his grand tour debut at the 2021 Giro d’Italia (Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images)

Age: 23
Giro d’Italia results: Made his grand tour debut at the race in 2021.
Role: Stage hunter
VeloNews analysis: Carr crashed out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, but is back on track to make his second consecutive appearance at the Giro d’Italia. The team management is a huge fan of Carr’s racing style and versatility, and unlike last year, when he was sent to the Giro to learn, the 23-year-old is heading to Budapest to compete for stage wins. There is a glut of opportunities for Carr to target, and with Cort to bounce off, the team certainly has options. Realistically, Carr should be aiming for a stage win, while he could also be an outside shot for the mountains jersey in the first half of the race.

Owain Doull

Owain Doull won the 2022 Tour de la Provence while racing with Ineos-Grenadier. (Photo: James Startt)

Age: 29
Giro d’Italia results: Debutant
Role: Domestique
VeloNews analysis: At last. This is why Doull took the step of leaving his comfort zone at Ineos, and after just one grand tour opportunity in six years at a British squad, the 29-year-old has been granted a pass for his first Giro d’Italia. Expectations are somewhat lower at EF than they were at Ineos — having an almost unlimited budget does that — but on a personal level, Doull will want to give the best possible account of himself. That will mean supporting his team on the flats and the lower mountains, and possibly jumping in the odd break during the race. A stage win would be the dream result but simply getting to a grand tour is a victory in itself for a rider who probably overstayed at Ineos. There’s a strong and versatile rider still waiting to burst out, and the Giro could be the ideal platform.

Jonathan Caicedo

Jonathan Caicedo at the Tour Colombia 2020. (Photo: Maximiliano Blanco/Getty Images)

Age: 29
Giro d’Italia results: Won a stage in 2020 on Mt Etna. Has only finished one grand tour in four attempts.
Role: Stage hunter and mountain domestique
VeloNews analysis: Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to Caicedo, who has been consistently inconsistent when it comes to his stage racing pedigree. On the one hand, we have a rider who won a stage in the Giro the last time the race climbed Etna, in 2020. On the other hand we have a 29-year-old who has only finished one grand tour in four attempts. If he wins another stage in 2022 and fails to finish, his race will still be deemed a success but in a team lacking pure climbers some much-needed support for Carthy wouldn’t go amiss. Caicedo is another wildcard on this team.

Diego Camargo

Diego Camargo at the 2021 Vuelta a España. (Phtoto: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Age: 24
Giro d’Italia results: Another Giro first-timer.
Role: Domestique
VeloNews analysis: During the Tour Romandie the team’s director Charly Wegelius talked about ‘a couple of Colombians getting a run out’ at the Giro. The assumption was that Esteban Chaves was included in that bracket but it turns out Wegelius had Camargo in mind. The 24-year-old made his grand tour debut at the Vuelta a España last year and is in a contract year this time around.

Merhawi Kudus

Merhawi Kudus finished sixth on stage 13 of the 2018 Vuelta a España. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Age: 28
Giro d’Italia results: Just one start, back in 2016.
Role: Domestique
VeloNews analysis: Kudus has settled into life at EF-Education rather seamlessly and has kicked off his stint at the team with three consecutive stage races. Over the last few years, he has become more accustomed to racing the Vuelta a España but he returns to the Giro for the first time since 2016, with a key part of the American squad. He will dovetail working as a domestique while seeking his own opportunities within breakaways, while his consistency in the mountains should enhance Carthy’s support when the road points upwards. Kudus might not be an elite out-and-out climber but he has the ability and durability to certainly stick around until the final ascent during key mountain stages.

Julius van den Berg

Age: 25
Giro d’Italia results: Second appearance after making his debut in 2021.
Role: Domestique/sprinter
VeloNews analysis: Van den Berg came into the WorldTour a highly rated U23 rider having finished second in the U23 version of Paris-Roubaix and winning a number of other races. The pandemic wasn’t kind to neo-pros and their respective development but the 25-year-old won a stage in the Tour de Pologne last year and has chipped in with a number of respectable placings over the last couple of years. His role at the Giro will skirt between domestique and sprinter, with Doull perhaps helping the Dutch rider navigate some of the tricky finishes.