With the start of the 97th Giro d’Italia due on Saturday, the teams are slowly but surely releasing their rider lists. Overnight (Australian time), Sky announced that Chris ‘CJ’ Sutton would be replacing an ill Peter Kennaugh and Jay McCarthy tweeted that he’s going to be part of the starting line-up for the Tinkoff-Saxo team. Another rider to arrive in Belfast before the Irish Grande Partenza is Michael Rogers – so his second race this year will be the Giro.
Earlier in the week, Orica-GreenEdge announced the nine riders for the Giro which included six Australians: Mitch Docker, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Brett Lancaster, Michael Matthews and Cameron Meyer.
And, of course, last year’s stage winner from Lotto-Belisol, Adam Hansen, will be back in action in the corsa rosa – meaning it will be the seventh successive Grand Tour for the Queenslander.
Furthermore, the BMC team has Cadel Evans as the leader; the first Australian to wear the maglia rosa in the Giro d’Italia is looking to improve on his third place overall last year. The first time he did the Giro was back in 2002 and he led GC for just one day. In 2010, as the reigning world champion, he also started the Italian race – during his first season with the BMC team – and also wore the pink jersey for one day. Could this be the year when he holds onto the top spot for a little longer? Tune in to SBS this weekend, and for the next three weeks, as this is the first year that every stage of the Italian Grand Tour is live on free-to-air television in Australia…
As it stands there are 13 Australians ready for the 2014 Giro d’Italia:
• Cadel Evans (VIC) BMC
• Nathan Haas (ACT) Garmin-Sharp
• Dave Tanner (VIC) Belkin
• Adam Hansen (QLD) Lotto-Belisol
• Mitch Docker (VIC) Orica-GreenEdge
• Luke Durbridge (WA) Orica-GreenEdge
• Michael Hepburn (QLD) Orica-GreenEdge
• Brett Lancaster (VIC) Orica-GreenEdge
• Michael Matthews (ACT) Orica-GreenEdge
• Cameron Meyer (WA) Orica-GreenEdge
• Chris Sutton (NSW) Team Sky
• Michael Rogers (ACT) Tinkoff-Saxo
• Jay McCarthy (QLD) Tinkoff-Saxo