Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas to lead Team Sky at 100th Giro d’Italia

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.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Tejay Van Garderen and Rohan Dennis to lead BMC Racing at 100th Giro d’Italia

Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis will make their Giro d’Italia debut when they line up next week as BMC Racing Team’s leaders at the 100th edition of the race.

Van Garderen, who is the team’s primary leader, will join forces with Dennis, who is there to test his Grand Tour General Classification abilities, Sports Director Max Sciandri said.

“Tejay van Garderen is our outright leader for the General Classification. He has a lot of Grand Tour experience and we’re really excited to see what he can do at the Giro d’Italia; a race he has never done before. It is a new challenge for Tejay, the course is well-suited to his racing style and he will have the support of the whole team. Whereas Rohan Dennis is in a unique position where he has free rein to race his own race. Rohan has never focused on the General Classification in a Grand Tour, but he has proven this year that he has the legs to be up there with the best, and I think we will see a strong performance from Rohan that will be the start of his transition to an outright Grand Tour contender,” Sciandri explained.

“Behind van Garderen and Dennis, we have a mix of youth and experience in our line up. Manuel Quinziato and Francisco Ventoso are some of the most experienced riders in the peloton and they will fittingly be our road captains. Silvan Dillier, Ben Hermans, Dylan Teuns, Joey Rosskopf and Manuel Senni complete the line up and will provide crucial support on both the flat and mountain stages. I’m confident we will see strong performances from these riders, all of whom are continually progressing season after season.”

Van Garderen is embracing the new challenge that the Giro d’Italia presents.

“The Giro d’Italia is a race I have never done before and it was a race I had been asking to do for a while. This year, the team gave me the green light to give it a try and it was a good opportunity for me to lead the team in a different Grand Tour. The parcours suits me well. There is a good number of time trialling kilometers and a good number of mountain stages. It is a very balanced Grand Tour. It’s hard, certainly, but I like the route,” van Garderen said.

“My lead up to the Giro d’Italia has been good. It has been a slow progression but I think I am hitting good form at the right time. Now it’s about fine tuning the big load of work that I have done since December, with my final race at the Tour de Romandie.”

Dennis has his sights set on a gradual Grand Tour development that starts next week in Italy.

“I have a lot to learn and I have to start somewhere where there are a lot more opportunities to get a result, so I chose to race the Giro D’Italia. If you can learn how to race the Giro d’Italia as a General Classification rider, you can race any Grand Tour. On paper, if you look at the route, I think 90% of the time the Giro d’Italia is the hardest Grand Tour every year. It’s probably the least-suited to me when it comes to the terrain so to be able to learn how to race for the General Classification in a race that isn’t really suited to me, is a huge bonus for me in the future,” Dennis explained.

“My form at the Tour of the Alps leading into the Giro d’Italia was spot on. I think I have given myself as good a chance as possible for my first General Classification attempt at a Grand Tour. To arrive in Milan with all of my skin, top five or top ten on General Classification, and with a stage win would be the absolute best case scenario for my first attempt.”

Giro d’Italia (5-28 May)

Rider roster:

  • Rohan DENNIS (AUS): First time racing
  • Silvan DILLIER (SUI): Two participations (2015, 2016)
  • Ben HERMANS (BEL): Two participations (2012, 2014)
  • Manuel QUINZIATO (ITA): Four participations (2003, 2009, 2014, 2016)
  • Joey ROSSKOPF (USA): One participation (2016)
  • Manuel SENNI (ITA): One participation (2016)
  • Dylan TEUNS (BEL): First time racing
  • Tejay VAN GARDEREN (USA): First time racing
  • Francisco VENTOSO (ESP): Five participations (2005, 2011-2014)

Sports Directors: Max SCIANDRI (ITA), Yvon LEDANOIS (FRA), Marco PINOTTI (ITA)

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

UAE Team Emirates announces lineup for 100th Giro d’Italia

Now operating out of their new service course in Milan, UAE Team Emirates announced the names of the nine riders who’ll take part in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia.

This is the line-up of the first Emirati team to participate in the Pink Race:

  • Valerio Conti
  • Rui Costa
  • Roberto Ferrari
  • Marco Marcato
  • Sacha Modolo
  • Matej Mohoric
  • Simone Petilli
  • Jan Polanc
  • Edward Ravasi

The team will be directed by sports directors Orlando Maini and Marco Marzano, with support from Daniele Righi. Rui Costa will be making his debut in the race:

“This will be the first time for me in the Giro, I have strong motivations and I’m really happy to debut in the 100th edition,” Costa said. “There are some stages (which) are suitable for my skills. A victory in my first participation and in this special edition of the race will have a special value for me and for the team“.

Sacha Modolo will fight in the sprints: “For an Italian rider, Giro d’Italia is a key appointment,” Modolo stated. “I’m a lucky rider, I won in my career two stages in the Corsa Rosa. I’ll do my best to live again those amazing feelings, relying on a group of special riders who demonstrated to be perfect in launching me in the sprints.”

In the team’s line-up there will be two riders who have already won at the Giro d’Italia: Modolo, who obtained two stages victories in 2015, and Jan Polanc, winner of the Abetone stage in 2015.

The average age of the selection 26.5 years, the oldest rider is Marco Marcato (33 years old) and the youngest is Matej Mohoric (22 years old).

The team will be riding their Italian made Colnago bikes in the race.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Team Sunweb unveils 2017 Giro d’Italia lineup

Phil Bauhaus

The 100th anniversary edition of the Giro d’Italia is fast approaching and German Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their final selection for this special edition of the race.

The confirmation of the participation of Team Sunweb’s first riders came in early January at the team’s launch in Germany, and the team has since explained the different approach they will take for this years race. Looking to explore their GC chances, the team have selected a strong and experienced line-up to chase its goals throughout the race, including riders from its German core who will be crucial to the team’s ambitions for the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia.

Speaking about Team Sunweb’s line-up for the Giro, coach Aike Visbeek (NED) explained: “After a good period of preparation and training, we are feeling super motivated for a great 100th anniversary edition of the race with the line-up that we have selected. We’ve just returned from the team’s high altitude camp in Tenerife and we’ve done video recons to prepare our riders and get familiar with the key sections of the course.

“Phil makes his Grand Tour debut with us at the Giro and we will focus on the development of him getting a free role on the flat sprinter’s stages to go for a stage result. On these stages we will have a common goal to protect Tom [Dumoulin] and also bring Phil into the final in good shape.

“It will be a tough three weeks. For the difficult stages we have Simon, Georg, Sindre and Chad to support Tom, whereas Laurens and Wilco will be the last guys to go through deeper into the finale. Laurens brings a wealth of experience and Wilco has himself achieved a top 10 here in the past. Tom [Stamsnijder] is an engine that can help us out both on the hills and flat.”

Team Sunweb for 2017 Giro d’Italia:

  • Phil Bauhaus (GER)
  • Laurens ten Dam (NED)
  • Tom Dumoulin (NED)
  • Simon Geschke (GER)
  • Chad Haga (USA)
  • Wilco Kelderman (NED)
  • Georg Preidler (AUT)
  • Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR)
  • Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Santa Cruz Syndicate welcomes Crankbrothers as official partner

Crankbrothers has entered into a new multi-year partnership with powerhouse downhill racing team the Santa Cruz Syndicate.

The new partnership sees Crankbrothers become the team’s official pedal supplier after many years of supporting individual team riders. During a partnership that has spanned over a decade, racing legend Greg Minnaar and Crankbrothers have achieved a historical 18 World Cup wins, two World Cup titles, and two World Championships together.

The Santa Cruz Syndicate enters a new era for 2017, recruiting the highly sought after duo of Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier. This new partnership will see the team take on the UCI World Cup Downhill Series aboard the newly released Mallet DH pedal.
“After supporting Luca, Loris, and Greg individually in the past, we are now incredibly proud to become the team’s official pedal supplier. Here at Crankbrothers we are excited to help the Santa Cruz Syndicate achieve great results,” says Gaspare Licata, Crankbrothers CEO.

“I’ve experienced a lot of success on Crankbrothers pedals over the years,” explains Greg Minnaar. “I’m stoked the new recruits will officially be racing on the same products. The Syndicate is all about sharing experiences of winning set-ups, and this is just another step towards giving Luca and Loris the best platform to launch into this season.”

“The Syndicate only aligns with brands whose products our riders want to ride,” adds Rob Roskopp, Team Director. “So when Greg, Luca, and Loris unanimously voted to race Mallet DH pedals this year, it was an easy decision to invite Crankbrothers on board as an official team partner. I have never been more excited about the complete race bike package that’s rolling out in Lourdes than I am this season.”

The Santa Cruz Syndicate’s season kicks off this weekend at UCI World Cup Downhill #1 in Lourdes, France. To follow the team’s achievements throughout the year, visit the Santa Cruz Syndicate YouTube Channel.

To learn more about the new Mallet DH visit crankbrothers.com

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Philippe Gilbert returns to racing

Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert will return to action this week-end.

The first rider in decades to win a cobbled classic and an Ardennes one in the same season, Philippe Gilbert has received good news from the doctors, who gave him green light to start training again. The Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race champion has been forced to miss Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège due to a kidney tear, and today he returned to training, on the home rollers.

Quick-Step Floors’ rider will make his first appearance in two weeks this Saturday, at Zilvermeer, which plays host to the “Tom says Thanks” event, where Tom Boonen will race in front of his fans, together with Philippe, Marcel Kittel, Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski, and many other big names of the peloton. Then, one day later, the Belgian Champion will line up at the start of the race he organizes, the “Philippe Gilbert Classic”, in the Belgian municipality of Aywaille.

An update on Philippe Gilbert’s new racing schedule will be made in the following days.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Chrome Industries partners with artists for auction of one of a kind hand painted Cinelli frames

Chrome Industries today announced an exclusive collaboration with Cinelli bikes, eBay for Charity, and a select group of contemporary artists to create and auction off a limited series of hand-painted bike frames, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting worthwhile charities.

For twenty years Chrome has built its brand around cycling, art and community engagement. Frames For Good is a representation of all three of these brand attributes. Teaming up with Cinelli, the legendary Italian-based bicycle designer, Chrome reached out to eight contemporary artists and commissioned them to apply their artistic vision to a Cinelli Vigorelli frame. Since the 1940s, Cinelli has made its mark by creating some of the finest bike frames in the world and the Cinelli Vigorelli continues this tradition. eBay for Charity will host the auction of these unique pieces, making them available to global base of over 167 million active buyers.

The artists were given free reign on the project, without limitations or direction. The result: eight one-of-a-kind pieces of art. On Thursday, April 27th, timed with the launch of the auction on eBay for Charity, all eight frames will be on display at the flagship REI SoHo store in Manhattan (303 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012), for a cocktail reception from 5:30-7:00pm. The online auction will conclude on Sunday, May 7th at 6:00pm EST. Each artist was asked to select a charity with personal significance and 100% of the proceeds of the sale of each frame will be donated to the charity of their choosing.

The artists and their selected charities are as follows: Zio Ziegler: Trips For Kids; Russ Pope: Alzheimer Association; Sam Turner: Wish For Wheels; Todd Bratrud: Keep-A-Breast; Erik Otto: Pedal Revolution; Celeste Byers: Water.org; Sean Light: Underdog Railroad Rescue; and Ben Venom: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The launch reception on April 27th will be attended by Antonio Colombo, President of Cinelli Bikes and owner of the Antonio Colombo Contemporary Art Gallery in Milan, Italy.

You are invited to join Chrome and Cinelli in New York to see these magnificent bespoke bikes in person. For those unable to attend, we encourage you to visit the auction here when it goes live on April 27th.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Lotto Soudal announces roster for 2017 Giro d’Italia

Lotto Soudal today announced the nine riders that will take the start of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, the 100th edition of the race. The first Grand Tour of the year kicks off on Friday 5 May on the Italian island Sardinia and finishes on Sunday 28 May in Milan.

André Greipel (34) won three Giro stages last year, in his entire career he has won six Giro stages. In his fifth Giro ever, the German champion aims for another stage victory. Moreno Hofland (25) will ride his third consecutive Giro, the first one in Lotto Soudal shirt.

For Bart De Clercq (30) it is the third Giro participation as well, after a four-year break. In 2011, Bart won the sixth stage to Montevergine di Mercogliano, as a neo-pro. With Maxime Monfort (34) a second Belgian climber is part of the Lotto Soudal line-up. It is his fifth Giro. The past years, Maxime each time finished on top fifteen of the overall ranking: fourteenth in 2014, eleventh in 2015 and fifteenth in 2016. In the mountains, Bart and Maxime can rely on the support of Tomasz Marczynski (33), who already stood at the start of the Giro 2012.

Sean De Bie (25) will also start his second Giro next Friday, the second Grand Tour in his career. Last year, Sean sprinted to the fifth place in Turin at the end of the last stage. Jasper De Buyst (23) makes his Giro début, after he rode his first Grand Tour in 2015, that was the Vuelta.

Lars Bak (37) is more experienced in riding Grand Tours. This Giro will be his seventeenth Grand Tour and the ninth Giro. In 2012, Lars triumphed in Sestri Levante, where the eleventh stage finished. Last, but not least there’s Adam Hansen (almost 36). For the Aussie it will be the 24th Grand Tour in his career, the seventeenth consecutive Grand Tour that he can complete and his ninth Giro. In 2013, Adam won the seventh stage in Pescara.

Lotto Soudal roster: Lars Bak, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, Bart De Clercq, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Moreno Hofland, Tomasz Marczynski and Maxime Monfort.

Sports directors: Bart Leysen and Frederik Willems.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Crankbrothers announces partnership with Danny MacAskill

Crankbrothers has announced a new multi-year partnership with Scottish mountain bike trials legend, Danny MacAskill.

MacAskill has become a household name in the last decade, starring in viral videos Way Back Home, The Ridge, Imaginate, and many more.

The partnership will see Crankbrothers become MacAskill’s official pedal provider.

“I’m so stoked to be riding for the brand that many of my heroes have been riding for years! I absolutely love the Stamp pedals and am amazed at the beating they can take!” said MacAskill.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Danny join the Crankbrothers family. Having Danny ride our pedals in such extreme situations will help us to innovate and test our products to the limit!” said Gaspare Licata, Crankbrothers CEO.

For more on MacAskill, check out his website or follow him on Instagram.

For more information on the Stamp pedal, visit crankbrothers.com.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Geraint Thomas king of the first Tour of the Alps

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was the deserving winner of the inaugural Tour of the Alps. The Welshman took the jersey with his brutal acceleration to the finish of stage 3 in Funes, and managed to maintain it through the last couple of days in spite of the attacks, also thanks to an amazing Mikel Landa. The last Giro del Trentino’s winner acted like a key domestique for the teammate to claim the trophy he had deserved twelve months ago, ahead of sharing the leading grades on the roads of the Giro d’Italia.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was the winner of the final stage in the beautiful scenario of Trento’s downtown. The Frenchman got the elusive stage win ahead of Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Geraint Thomas himself, and was a mere 7” shy of the leader’s jersey: whoever wants the Maglia Rosa, will find the Frenchman on his way too. Third on the podium was Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale), whose love for the former Giro del Trentino continues year after year.

HOW IT UNFOLDED

Again, an amazing sunny day welcomed the race at the start in Smarano, but Geraint Thomas’ Team Sky started the day with a blow: after 12 km, Ian Boswell was forced out of the race due to a nasty crash, reducing the Welsh’s support to only four riders. The British Team did not play defense though, as it imposed a very fast pace from the beginning, quickly reducing the peloton ranks to about 60 riders on the steady ascent towards Andalo.

After several attempts, six riders finally managed to break away at km 28: Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina), Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Joey Rosskopf (BMC), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Francesco Manuel Bongiorno and Paolo Totò (Sangemini-MGkVis). The six in the lead were eventually joined by three more – Steve Morabito (FDJ), Sergei Chernetski (Astana) and Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec). The nine riders reached a 5.10 maximum advantage, whilst two men of the Bardiani-CSF team that missed the break – Simone Sterbini and Edoardo Zardini – also went out at the chase for some kilometers.

The work by Gazprom-Rusvelo in the peloton reduced the lead to 2.40 at the foot of the Monte Bondone. The lead group started splintering, and the favorites started attacking from behind, quickly reducing the advantage and getting back on the break. When Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) kicked away from the 20-men leaders’ group, Danilo Celano (Italy), Michele Scarponi (Astana) and Egan Bernal (Androni-Sidermec) followed him, and the four gained a little gap on the way to the top of Charly Gaul’s climb, but were eventually reeled in. The Colombian wasn’t ready to give up though: a solo move with 40 km to the finish saw Bernal earn 25 seconds on the top GC men and pass first atop the Monte Bondone. Nevertheless, the leaders’ group got back on the Colombian once again at 15 km to go, at the end of a gutty descent by the grimpeur, the only notable absence being Cannondale-Drapac’s Hugh Carthy and his best youngster’s jersey.

The attacks into the final kilometers could nothing against Mikel Landa, who drove Thomas with authority until the final sprint, in which Thibaut Pinot finally managed to take his elusive win, after two second places, one third and one fifth in the race. Brent Bookwalter (BMC) was second ahead of Thomas, who brings home a major boost of confidence along with the fuchsia jersey.

“There was no better way to finish up this setup for the Giro,” said Thomas on the podium. “It was a great race, sure we were put under pressure at times but I could rely on a strong team, with Mikel Landa playing an incredible role in the last couple of days. At the Giro we will share the leader’s role, we will back each other and in the end we’ll see who’s got the best chances.

“It’s good that we managed to finish it off today, in spite of Boswell’s nasty crash at the beginning,” he added. “The right breakaway went away, and we could ride on Gazprom-Rusvelo’s wheels until the foot of the Monte Bondone. The other teams pulled on the pressure on the climb, with plenty of attacks, but my decision was to try to control Pinot, that was arguably the most dangerous rival: after the climb, Landa just led us all the way to the finish.”

“Taking the race and managing to defend a lead for two days was certainly a morale boost and a good indication for the Giro, but a three weeks race is an all different story. At the Giro I could take advantage of time trials, provided that I haven’t lost too much efficiency in the quest to improve on climbs, but it’s hard to tell how I could perform on something like the final day of the Giro.”

“Tour of the Alps is a beautiful and hard race, and now I feel it was certainly the ideal choice to race it ahead of the Giro d’Italia.”

Thibaut Pinot: “I wanted a stage above all at the Tour of the Alps, I have battled hard to get it, and finally succeeded. Obviously it feels bad to lose by a few seconds, but I can only blame myself: Thomas was too strong on stage 3, and I made a mistake not to follow him on the attack. Today, dropping him was impossible.

“Yesterday I had enjoyed a good lead up by the team for the sprint, though it was a near miss,” Pinot added. “Today I was focused on making a head sprint, and finally delivered.”

“I haven’t reviewed the Giro route carefully yet, but of course I like the uphill finishes. The Etna could be good for me, and also the final week features plenty of big climbs. I think Thomas should be regarded as one of the favorites for the Giro d’Italia, as he is strong in TTs and certainly showed his value on the mountains. I am solid in time trials, but certainly not as much as him. Hopefully I can dodge the bad days and play my cards at the best”.

“My first Tour of the Alps was an amazing experience. I didn’t know this area personally, and it’s amazingly beautiful, just like the route. It was the perfect choice to come here ahead of the Giro. Count me in for next year as well!”

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.