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"I have done a lot of work to recover, but my goals have kind of changed because I do not know if I will be at my best level. I am hoping to do a good start with the team in the team time trial and then see day-by-day what I can do.&qu...

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BMC RACING TEAM

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BRENT BOOKWALTER

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DAMIANO CARUSO

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DARWIN ATAPUMA

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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KLAAS LODEWYCK

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MARCUS BURGHARDT

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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SILVAN DILLIER

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STEFAN KÜNG

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06.05.2015 @ 01:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The BMC Racing Team's roster for the Giro d'Italia includes Damiano Caruso, a top 10 finisher at last year's Vuelta a Espana, and past stage winner and world road champion Philippe Gilbert.

Only Brent Bookwalter returns from last year's nine-man squad, while four riders will make their first Giro start: Marcus Burghardt, Silvan Dillier, Stefan Küng and Rick Zabel.

Sport Director Valerio Piva said the BMC Racing Team will support Caruso for the overall classification and take immediate aim at the "maglia rosa" race leader's jersey in the team time trial that opens the three-week race Saturday.

"We will try to make a good start in the team time trial and maybe try to win one of the first stages," Piva said. "The rest of the race we will support Damiano. He will have the support of Darwin Atapuma in the climbs, so hopefully a top five result in the general classification would be nice."

New to the BMC Racing Team this year, Caruso finished ninth last September at the Vuelta a España. Last week, he finished third on Stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie.

"This year, I have a big opportunity and the team has given me a big responsibility," Caruso said. "Last year, I did a good Vuelta and now I want to improve on that result in the Giro. I think I am realistic in wanting to be top 10, but in my heart, I hope to do better. This year, the Giro has a very hard start. The first five or six stages are very hard in Liguria and Toscana. It is very important to be ready from the start."

Gilbert will make his fourth Giro start - but his first since 2009 when he soloed to win the penultimate stage.

"The Giro will be difficult because I am still suffering from my crash at Flèche Wallonne ," Gilbert said. "I have done a lot of work to recover, but my goals have kind of changed because I do not know if I will be at my best level. I am hoping to do a good start with the team in the team time trial and then see day-by-day what I can do."

Küng won a stage at the Tour de Romandie last week and earned "most combative rider" honors at the WorldTour race. The world individual pursuit champion on the track also soloed to win the Volta Limburg Classic last month.

"I remember when we talked to Stefan about doing the Giro," Sport Director Fabio Baldato said. "His eyes got very big and he was really excited. This will be a good experience for him and I am sure he and the other young guys like Rick and Silvan can contribute. Doing a three-week race really helps you take the next step toward becoming a stronger, more experienced rider. You see their body and their attitude change in a grand tour much more than in a one-week week race or a classic."

Riders:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Stefan Küng (SUI), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER).

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