The Giro d’Italia unveiled its provisional start list, and it’s dripping with star quality.
In a good year, the Giro would see one or maybe two marquee riders. The 2021 Giro will be overflowing in star power.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) and Romain Bardet (Team DSM) are among some of the big names headlining the Italian race.
They will all, except for Sagan, be fighting for the Trofea Senza Fine, the Giro d’Italia’s beautiful trophy.
Last year’s runner up Jai Hindley (Team DSM) will be the only 2020 podium finisher lining up in Torino when the race begins on May 8. The 2020 champion Tao Geoghegan Hart will ride the Tour de France this year, with Bernal leading the charge for Ineos Grenadiers instead.
Sources confirmed that US star Brandon McNulty (UAE-Emirates), whose name did not appear on preliminary start lists Tuesday, will be on the long list for a possible Tour de France start this summer.
Other Americans include Tejay van Garderen and Will Barta (EF Education-Nippo), Larry Warbasse (Ag2r-Citroën), and Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar), who will make his grand tour debut.
Other big names set to rock up in Italy are Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), a late addition to the race.
Sagan — who is riding this week at the Tour de Romandie — made his corsa rosa debut in 2020 and won solo after an attack from the breakaway on stage 10.
The Slovakian three-time world champion has had a rocky road to this year’s Giro d’Italia after he contracted COVID-19 this winter. However, he showed that he was quickly relocating his form with fourth at Milano-Sanremo and a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya.
Nibali is another rider who has had a less than ideal preparation for the first grand tour of the year. The Trek-Segafredo leader crashed during training two weeks ago and broke his wrist.
“The Shark” has not let that slow him down and he has been fitted with a wrist brace to allow him to continue training for his home race.
“A carbon brace, developed by Fabrizio Borra, will accompany me in my recovery path. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned to be at Giro d’Italia,” Nibali wrote on social media earlier this month.
“We are doing our best. But we need patience, lucidity and caution before any decision. Every day until May 8 will be precious.”
Check-up at Ars Medica with Dr Marano and… all good 💪 Thanks to this, I have the green light to start a new phase of my recovery, as well as the most delicate and decisive one: the road test 🙏💪 pic.twitter.com/JK35xydexP
— Vincenzo Nibali (@vincenzonibali) April 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Evenepoel is making his long-awaited season debut at the Giro d’Italia after he crashed out of last year’s Il Lombardia. The Belgian fractured his pelvis in the incident, which saw him plummet into a ravine on the descent of the Muro di Sormano.
“I still have some work to do to be ready for the Giro d’Italia but, in the end, I’m just happy to ride my bike,” Evenepoel said in a video post on his social media last week.
The Giro d’Italia will set off from Torino on Saturday, May 8 and finishes in Milan on Sunday, May 30.