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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Team Sky is giving its Italian star a chance to shine. Gianni Moscon will help lead the team in the Giro d’Italia this May after tackling the cobbled classics through Paris-Roubaix.
The Italian will have a chance to debut in his home tour as a co-captain with Colombian Egan Bernal. Sky will send Chris Froome, the 2018 Giro winner, and reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas to the Tour this summer.
“Riding the Giro d’Italia is really exciting for me,” the 24-year-old Moscon said. “As an Italian kid I grew up watching the Giro and now, to be there on that screen with all my family watching in Italy, will be amazing.”
The race starts in Bologna on May 11 and includes three time trials and five big summit finishes before finishing at Verona’s Arena three weeks later.
Moscon has been pushing toward grand tour leadership since his debut as a helper for Froome in the 2017 Vuelta a España, which Froome won.
Moscon returned in the 2018 Tour, helping establish Thomas’s overall win. However, he did not take part in the final celebrations because the jury disqualified him after he threw a punch at another rider in stage 15.
He returned from his suspension and won three races, including his first race back. Moscon then capped 2018 with the mountain stage win and the overall title at China’s Tour of Guangxi.
Joining Moscon in the 2019 Giro will be Bernal. At 21, Bernal made an impressive grand tour debut in the Tour last year.
First, Moscon will focus on the spring classics that helped him establish himself. In 2017, he placed fifth in Paris-Roubaix.
“Hopefully I will continue the good form of the last part of the season,” Moscon explained. “It’s always difficult to get to the top of the condition when you want, but I started last year well and I’m really confident I can be in good shape in the spring.”
Moscon will begin his season at the UAE Tour on February 24 and will race Italy’s Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milano-Sanremo.
“The main objective for the next season is the classics in Belgium, the pavé classics,” he said. “And then I’m really looking forward to the Giro: my first Giro d’Italia.”
In the north, he will race E3 BinckBank, Gent-Wevelgem, the Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders, and, on April 14, Paris-Roubaix.
“I love the pavé. It’s unique. You ride on that terrain only for the classics and no more during the season. That’s what makes the atmosphere. It’s something epic,” he continued.
“My fifth place in Paris-Roubaix gives me motivation to go there and get a better result and really fight for the win. I think arriving so close in 2017 makes me hope for a big result.”