After a foreign start in Israel, the 2018 Giro d’Italia will hit the Italian roads in Sicily which will provide opportunities to shine to both the fast men and the climbers, with the latter going up Mount Etna for the second year in succession, but this time on a tougher side.
Montevergine and Gran Sasso will bring the maglia rosa contenders again to the fore before a tricky second week which includes some rolling terrain perfect for an ambush and the infamous Monte Zoncolan (10.1 kilometers, 11.9%).
The final week of the race will kick off with a testing 34.5km-long individual time trial between Trento and Rovereto, but the real race will be in the mountains, with Pratonevoso, Bardonecchia and Cervinia all set to host summit finishes, before one last roll of the dice for the sprinters in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo.
Most successful sprinter of the season with six victories to his name, Elia Viviani returns to the Giro d’Italia for the first time since 2016, and the 29-year-old Italian, a stage winner at his home race, will look to enhance his palmares at the Corsa Rosa, where he’ll rely on a strong squad built around him.
Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Michael Mørkøv, Fabio Sabatini, Maximilian Schachmann, Florian Sénéchal and Zdenek Stybar will all travel this week to Israel for the Quick-Ste Floors team.
“We’ve had a fantastic first part of the season, but that is history now and we don’t plan to rest on our laurels. The Giro d’Italia is one of the most important races of the season, one where we have always enjoyed tremendous success, winning stages, distinctive jerseys and being up there in the general classification, so it’s only natural to be motivated and ambitious for this fresh challenge. Our roster has a mix of youth and experience, and Elia will be the leader for the next three weeks, but this doesn’t mean we won’t try to be in the mix also in other stages and grab every opportunity we’ll be presented with”, said sports director Davide Bramati.