Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which starts next week in Sardinia (5th May) and ends in Milan on Sunday 28th May.
Thomas and Landa will be joined by Philip Deignan, Kenny Elissonde, Michal Golas, Sebastian Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Salvatore Puccio and Diego Rosa.
Ahead of the team’s departure to the Giro, Mikel Landa said:
“The Giro is going to be a big challenge but I feel that I am in good form and it’s a challenge I am ready for. As always, it is a race for the climbers and I think that will suit me. We have a strong team and I’m really looking forward to returning to the Giro with Team Sky.”
Geraint Thomas said:
“My preparation has gone really well and I’m ready. I can’t wait to get there now. The Tour of the Alps was my last race before the Giro and so to win there was obviously a boost to my morale. I know it’s going to be a really strong field at the Giro and it will be a tough, unpredictable race but I’m looking forward to it.”
Confirming the line-up, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said:
“The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia is going to be a special race. We want to make sure we are a key player in it and that we go there and make our mark. We’ve placed a lot of importance on performing well at this race. We have prepared properly for it to give the riders the best chance of making an impact.
“Our focus for the race will be to compete on GC. In Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas we’re coming into the race with two key riders who will be trying to achieve that.
“We’ve looked at the challenges this edition of the Giro presents and picked a team which we believe can fully support both of our leaders. The last week of this Giro will be particularly demanding and the severity of those stages will be determining factors, so making sure we have climbing support in the high mountains has been a key consideration.
“Both Mikel and Geraint are coming into the race in excellent form and it’s exciting that they will be leading Team Sky into the 100th Giro d’Italia. They are two different types of rider and we see this as creating a real opportunity for us.
“In Grand Tour terms the first serious tests come early on and so we will arrive in Sardinia focused and ready to race from Kilometre One.”
The Team Sky squad for the 2017 Giro d’Italia is:
Philip Deignan – age 33 – Ireland
Lining up for his 10th Grand Tour appearance, Philip Deignan brings plenty of experience and climbing ability to the table. A former Grand Tour stage winner and top-10 finisher in his own right (Vuelta 2009), the Irishman knows what it takes to compete at the sharp end of a general classification. After a busy start to the year Deignan has already been part of a winning performance at Paris-Nice, and most recently supported Geraint Thomas to victory at the Tour of the Alps.
Kenny Elissonde – age 25 – France
Team Sky’s new recruit for 2017, Kenny Elissonde is a pure climber and very much at home when the road ramps upwards. The Frenchman has ridden the last four editions of the Vuelta a Espana, and also completed the Giro back in 2015. A Grand Tour stage winner, Elissonde was another rider who helped Geraint Thomas to victory at the Tour of the Alps, in addition to his own third place at the early season Herald Sun Tour.
Michal Golas – age 32 – Poland
An experienced presence in the peloton, Michal Golas is comfortable in the role of road captain, with a key role to play across the three weeks. With starts at all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, the former Polish national road champion knows just how to position his team leader in the peloton. Golas is also able to set a tempo in the medium mountains, making him just the type of versatile rider every good Giro team requires.
Sebastian Henao – age 23 – Colombia
2017 has seen Sebastian Henao take another step in his development, with the Colombian riding harder and contributing deeper into some of the toughest races on the calendar. He played a pivotal role in his cousin Sergio Henao’s victory at Paris-Nice in March, and is also no stranger to the Giro d’Italia. Sebastian has completed the race on the last three occasions, finishing 17th in his own right last season, claiming second in the young rider standings.
Vasil Kiryienka – age 35 – Belarus
With no less than three Giro d’Italia stage wins to his name, Vasil Kiryienka is a force to be reckoned with and a veteran of 16 career Grand Tours. Never more comfortable than when he is on the front dishing out punishment to the peloton, ‘Kiry’ has become a fan favourite for his tireless work ethic. World time trial champion in 2015, the Belarusian also played his part in two of Chris Froome’s Tour de France victories.
Mikel Landa – age 27 – Spain
Co-leader for Team Sky in this year’s Giro, Mikel Landa is hoping to return to the same Grand Tour podium he stood on in 2015. Third place at the Giro d’Italia was a breakthrough result for the Spaniard, who also picked up a stage win in that race. Landa has tasted victory at the Giro del Trentino since joining Team Sky, but saw a promising run at the Giro curtailed by illness last season. He will be looking to bounce back in 2017 after showing impressive form at the Tour of the Alps.
Salvatore Puccio – age 27 – Italy
One of two Italians in the line-up this season, Salvatore Puccio is one of the most dependable riders on the Team Sky roster. Gradually building his strength and experience since joining the team back in 2012, Puccio had the honour of a day in the pink jersey at the 2013 Giro – the first of his three participations to date. An all-round talent with a fast kick and love for the Classics, he can also be relied upon to set a tempo on the race’s early climbs.
Diego Rosa – age 28 – Italy
The second Italian in the Giro squad, Diego Rosa has been a highly impressive addition to Team Sky’s roster in 2017. Having already ridden all three Grand Tours in his career, Rosa is a climbing force and has quickly slotted himself into the team’s mountain train. With a victory at Milano-Torino and a second place at Il Lombardia already to his name, Diego has quickly established himself as a rising star since stepping up to the WorldTour ranks in 2015.
Geraint Thomas – age 30 – Great Britain
Lining up in his first co-leadership role at a Grand Tour, the 2017 Giro is a chance for Geraint Thomas to show what he can do over three weeks. The Welshman carries superb form into the race, fresh from victory at the Tour of the Alps. ‘G’ has proven himself as one of the best wingmen in the sport, and an ever-present in all three of Chris Froome’s Tour de France wins. An Olympic gold medallist and Classics star in his own right, the Giro provides Thomas with a huge opportunity.