Team Sky Announces Roster for Giro d'Italia 2015
Sky Pro Cycling has revealed its line-up for the 2015 Giro d'Italia, which begins in San Lorenzo al Mare on May 9. Team Sky's roster is headlined by Richie Porte, who receives crucial support from experienced climbers and all-rounders.
Richie Porte will lead Team Sky in this year's first Grand Tour: the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Porte, who has already secured victories in Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino this season, is set to lead the nine-man squad, which features Italian riders Salvatore Puccio and sprinter Elia Viviani, alongside Bernhard Eisel, Sebastián Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve and Kanstantsin Siutsou.
The 98th edition of Giro d'Italia will commence on Saturday, May 9 with a team time trial in San Lorenzo al Mare and concludes in Milan on May 31.
"The Giro d'Italia has long been my main goal of the season. I’ve worked very hard through the winter and am entering the race strong, healthy and up for the challenge. The competition will be tough, and obviously anything can happen in a Grand Tour, but we’ve got a great group of riders going into the race and we are ready for it," Team Sky captain Richie Porte explained.
On confirming Sky's line-up team manager Dave Brailsford told Roadcycling.com "Team Sky has had a great start to the year and we are going into the first Grand Tour of the season with a strong team, led by Richie. Richie is entering the race in good shape and with real focus and determination. He’s made a lot of small changes across a number of areas in his preparation and training this season after the illness that affected his performance in 2014."
"Porte's results this season speak for themselves with excellent wins at Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino. This is one of the biggest and toughest races to win in the calendar but we go to this year's Giro d'Italia confident about the challenge ahead," Brailsford concluded.
Team Sky Pro Cycling line-up for the 2015 Giro d'Italia:
Richie Porte – age 30 – Australia
Team Sky’s leader in the 2015 Giro d’Italia, the Tasmanian has enjoyed his best ever start to a season, with nine victories already under his belt. After back-to-back stage race victories at Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and the recent Giro del Trentino, Porte heads into the race as one of the favorites. He also made his name at the 2010 Giro, wearing the leader’s jersey and winning the young rider classification.
Leopold König – age 27 – Czech Republic
A new arrival at Team Sky over the winter, the Czech climber has a superb record in his blossoming Grand Tour career. With top-10 overall finishes already secured in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana for his former NetApp-Endura team, König has all the tools to make an impact on his Giro debut. Should the opportunity materialize, he has the legs needed to go for victory in the mountains classification.
Bernhard Eisel – age 34 – Austria
Lining up for his 17th Grand Tour appearance, the Austrian has carved out a reputation as one of the most reliable and respected road captains in the peloton. Few can read a race like Eisel, who also boasts renowned lead-out abilities and power in the flat kilometers.
Kanstantsin Siutsou – age 32
Another man with a Giro stage victory on his palmares, Siutsou heads into the race carrying great form out of the recent Giro del Trentino. A key rider in Team Sky’s climbing plans, Siutsou will be one of the last riders to pull off in the high mountains.
Sebastián Henao – age 21 – Colombia
One of the most exciting climbing prospects in the sport, Henao made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro last year as the youngest rider in the race. The Colombian took the event in his stride, and with a year of experience he could be a rider to watch this year.
Elia Viviani – age 26 – Italy
The second of Team Sky's Italian contingent, Viviani has come close to an elusive Grand Tour stage victory in both his previous participations at the Giro. After a strong start to the season, the sprinter will be hoping to get a bit of luck to match his renowned finishing speed.
Mikel Nieve – age 30 – Spain
An elite climber suited to the steepest slopes, Nieve has finished in the top 10 on both his previous visits to the biggest race in Italy. 2011 saw him take a huge stage victory at Val di Fassa, and the Basque rider will by a key climbing ally for Richie Porte this time around.
Salvatore Puccio – age 25 – Italy
Another member of Team Sky who knows what it is like to wear the famous Maglia Rosa, Puccio had a debut Giro to remember in 2013 when he led the race for a day. Now in his fourth season as a pro, the Italian will have a key team role to play across the three weeks.
Vasil Kiryienka – age 33
The powerful rider’s fifth participation in the Giro will be his first in Team Sky colors. Often seen setting a fierce tempo on the front of the peloton, Kiryienka has also enjoyed individual success at the race, with two epic mountain stage victories in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
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