With no clear GC leader for this year’s Giro d’Italia, UAE Team Emirates has given its riders the freedom to hunt for stages in the second Grand Tour of the 2020 season, which runs from 3 – 15 October.
The squad has been carefully selected to provide the best possible rider combinations for every stage of the Giro, which will now take place in Autumnal weather on the stunning Italian peninsular. The loss of the Hungarian Grande Partenza means the 103rd edition of the Corsa Rosa will be an all-Italian race, with only a brief foray into France during stage 20 when the peloton tackles the Col d’Izoard.
The racing will now start in Palermo on Saturday October 3 with a 15.1km time trial from the hill-top village of Monreale and finish in Milan on Sunday October 25 with a 15.7km time trial into the spectacular Duomo.
A third time trial – a 34.1km route through the vineyards above Conegliano – makes the 2020 race appealing for time trialists such as Brandon McNulty and Mikel Berg, but with more than 40,000 metres of vertical gain across 50 classified climbs and five summit finishes the pure climbers in the peloton will also have plenty of opportunities to take stages on their journey to Milan.
Gaviria will be eyeing up the flat stages as he looks to add another Giro win to the four he achieved across the 2016 and 2019 editions, whilst Ulissi will look to use his punchy power to take advantage of the parcours featured in some of the eight hilly routes.
As Team Manager Matxin Fernandez explains: “This team was put together with various considerations in mind. We want to give young Brandon McNulty a chance to shine and see what he can do, but without any pressure or concrete goals other than to give his best. We have Diego Ulissi, Valerio Conti and Joe Dombrowski as our trusted veterans who will have freedom to move and all know what it takes to win at the Giro. Mikkel Bjerg will slot in to help Fernando Gaviria go for wins and work with Richeze and Molano as part of the train for the fact finishes. Bjerg will also get his chances in the time trials along with McNulty who is also fast against the clock.”
Matxin will direct the following eight man squad with support from the experienced Italian trio of Marco Marzano, Paolo Tiralongo and Bruno Vicino:
- Mikkel BJERG (Denmark)
- Valerio CONTI (Italy)
- Joseph DOMBROWSKI (USA)
- Fernando GAVIRIA (Colombia)
- Brandon MCNULTY (USA)
- Juan Sebastian MOLANO (Colombia)
- Maximiliano RICHEZE (Argentina)
- Diego ULISSI (Italy)
Diego Ulissi added: “I’m excited heading into this year’s Giro. Without a clear GC leader we have a lot of freedom and have the strength to try different things on both the flat stages and the hilly days. My preparation has been perfect up until now. I finally managed to convert my consistency into wins at the Tour of Luxembourg and I’ll be keen to repeat that feeling again. We have two very young talented guys in Brandon and Mikkel who are doing their first Giro and it will be nice to try and help them and share my experience.”