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Ineos Grenadiers has two new year’s resolutions to make good this spring – to win a marquee classic and to capture its third Giro d’Italia title in three years.
Team sport director Matteo Tosatto told Tuttobici this weekend that he hopes the new year will mark the end of Ineos Grenadiers’ long wait for a headline one-day win.
“For the year that is just beginning, we will certainly continue with stage races but we also want to win an important one-day race,” Tosatto told Tuttobici. “We touched it with Tom Pidcock at the Amstel Gold Race and in a certain sense we had it with Richard Carapaz in the Tokyo Olympics, but it was the national team and not ours.”
Michal Kwiatkowski was a dominant force in the classics late last decade and brought Team Sky victories at Milano-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, E3 Harelbeke and more.
Since then, the team has been off the back in spring racing despite a roster brimming with classics talent.
2021 saw something of a renaissance in the team’s one-day ambitions. Dylan van Baarle won Dwaars door Vlaanderen, and Tom Pidock emerged as a leading classics racer with his Brabantse Pijl victory and photo-finish second-place at Amstel.
Tosatto wants 2022 to be the year it all clicks into place for the likes of Kwiatkowski, van Baarle, Pidcock, Ben Swift and Luke Rowe.
“We have great riders for the classics, so [winning a big race] is an excellent goal to set ourselves,” he said.
Despite the increased focus on the classics, Ineos Grenadiers won’t turn its back on its bread-and-butter grand tour racing.
Earlier this week, Tosatto sketched out a Giro d’Italia roster that includes former winners Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart as the team looks to win the pink jersey for the third year straight. Meanwhile, reigning Giro champ Egan Bernal will return to the Tour de France in a bid to upset grand tour dominator Tadej Pogačar.
“We have a suitable squad for both the Giro and the Tour. At the Giro everyone is waiting for us, and we present ourselves to win the third in a row,” Tosatto said. “The programs are not yet 100 percent outlined, but for sure who will be there will have the same desire as in 2021.”
2022 renewal: ‘We have set up a policy geared toward the future’
2022 will mark a year of renewal at Ineos Grenadiers as it acclimates to the arrival of teams like UAE Emirates and Jumbo Visma on the stage-racing scene.
Gianni Moscon, Rohan Dennis and Ivan Sosa are among a number of top riders to leave this winter. Elia Viviani and Omar Fraile are two veterans in a swathe of youthful new recruits including U.S. talent Magnus Sheffield, German sensation Kim Heiduk and multi-discipline Brit Ben Turner.
In the backroom, former pro Roger Hammond joins as lead sport director, longtime coach Tim Kerrison leaves, and top boss David Brailsford will take on a new wider role in the Ineos sports portfolio.
“After so many years together, since the days of Sky, we can change the air,” Tosatto said.
“We have set up a policy geared toward the future because we must always want to improve and look forward. We knew we had to ‘refresh’ the staff a little, and these engagements follow that direction.”
Gen-Z talents like Sheffield and Heiduk join an increasingly youthful roster already including riders like Bernal, Pidcock, Ethan Hayter, and Pavel Sivakov, all who are still 24 or younger.
“These are mostly signings not in to be key in 2022 key, but more in the future – therefore we must not rush these guys,” Tosatto said. “Also we’re mindful that many of our already established and confirmed riders, such as Bernal, Pidcock, Geoghegan Hart, Hayter are still relatively young and every year that passes they can continue to improve.”
For Ineos Grenadiers, the future starts now.