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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: Richard Carapaz leads formidable Ineos Grenadiers squad

Porte, Sivakov and Castroviejo add support but there are no spots for Dunbar or Pidcock.

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Richard Carapaz will spearhead Ineos Grenadiers at the Giro d’Italia as the Olympic road champion looks for his second maglia rosa.

Carapaz will be backed by a strong team that includes veteran all-rounder Richie Porte, Pavel Sivakov, and the ever-dependable Jonanthan Castroviejo.

There are no places on the team for Italian sprinter Elia Viviani or former Giro champion Tao Geoghegan Hart, and perhaps more importantly and surprisingly Eddie Dunbar, who has been in flying form in recent weeks.

Sivakov made the team alongside Salvatore Puccio, Ben Swift, Jhonatan Narváez, and debutant Ben Tulett. Another rider to not make the team is Tom Pidcock. As VeloNews wrote earlier this week the British rider is set for rest after an illness-hit classics campaign.

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Pidcock had been in line for a possible Giro d’Italia debut at the start of the season but he was seen on a Tour de France recon earlier this week, prompting further speculation that he might race the Tour in July. That has still to be confirmed but his admission means that the team is likely to dial its attention even further around Carapaz in the mountains.

Carapaz, who is out of contract at the end of the season, won the Giro d’Italia in 2019 while at Movistar and promptly moved to Ineos the following year.

The Ecuadorian finished third in the Tour de France last season behind Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard. The 28-year-old also finished second in the Vuelta a España in 2020 behind Primoz Roglic but Friday’s announcement marks his first return to the Italian race since his victory.

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The lack of time trial kilometers, coupled with the mountain stages that pepper each of the three weeks, make the course ideally suited to Carapaz, who will have to fend off challenges from the likes of João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), and Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), the winner of the race in 2017.

Porte is set to make his final grand tour appearance before his scheduled retirement at the end of the season.

The Australian has been climbing well this season and is aiming to be Carapaz’s final teammate in the mountains. The former wearer of the maglia rosa wrote for VeloNews earlier this week in an exclusive Giro d’Italia blog about his ambitions for the race.

“To be honest, at 37 years of age, my driving ambition at this point is to be up there with the last 10 guys in the mountains. That would be a great way to bow out of grand tour racing. I want to be competitive with the best guys, and that’s almost a bit easier when you’re on a team with someone like Carapaz, who can win the race. My ambition is to be up there, and alongside him,” Porte wrote.

Sivakov and Castroviejo add further steel and experience in the mountains, while Puccio, Swift, and Narváez will aim to keep Carapaz safe on the flatter terrain throughout the race.

Tulett, 20, is in his first season at WorldTour level, having joined from Alpecin-Fenix over the winter. The young climber finished second overall, behind Dunbar in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in April. The British rider also finished just outside the top-20 in the Tour of the Basque Country.