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“Well that is the dream, and we have to be optimistic and believe we can do this, but realistically what we are able to do is have a top 10 in the overall; top 10 is what we go for, top 5 would be phenomenal," Baffi says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

BOY VAN POPPEL

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DANILO HONDO

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EUGENIO ALAFACI

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FABIO FELLINE

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FUMIYUKI BEPPU

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GIACOMO NIZZOLO

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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RICCARDO ZOIDL

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ROBERT KISERLOVSKI

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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04.05.2014 @ 11:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Trek Factory Racing will line up at the Giro d'Italia with three objectives: a stage win, the teams classification and a top 10 on GC. Robert Kiserlovski will lead the GC charge, Giacomo Nizzolo - formidably supported by Danilo Hondo, Eugenio Alafaci and Boy Van Poppel - will focus on the sprints and Fabio Felline, Riccardo Zoidl and Julian Arredondo will go for stage wins in the hiller stages.

 

Trek Factory Racing is bringing a diverse nine-rider lineup to the 97th edition of the Giro d’Italia. The team will be led by Robert Kiserlovski for the general classification battle, and Giacomo Nizzolo who will duel it out in the sprints for a possible stage win. Joining them will be Julian Arredondo, Riccardo Zoidl, Fabio Felline, Danilo Hondo, Eugenio Alafaci, Fumy Beppu, and Boy Van Poppel.

 

Adriano Baffi, a reputed sprinter in his time with 70 victories in his famed career - including six stages of the Giro d’Italia - will be the head sport director leading the team for the three weeks.

 

“The dream will be to place one in the first five in the GC,” said Baffi, and then added, “Well that is the dream, and we have to be optimistic and believe we can do this, but realistically what we are able to do is have a top 10 in the overall; top 10 is what we go for, top 5 would be phenomenal.

 

“There may also be an opportunity in a few of the climbing stages for Julian [Arredondo] or Riccardo [Zoidl].  Also, we will keep in mind the team classification. So all in all, we want to win a stage, be in the top 10 overall, and be good in the team GC.”

 

For the first time in history the Giro d’Italia will start in Ireland, and the first two days will be held in Belfast (Northern Ireland) with the third ending in the Irish capital of Dublin. Aptly named the ‘Big Start’ an exhilarating 21.7-kilometer team time trial will kick off another unorthodox start to the Italian Grand Tour after beginning in Denmark two years ago.

 

Foreign starts to the most prestigious race behind the Tour de France are nothing new: there have been 10 other commencements outside of Italy in its 97 editions, but this year marks the biggest leap abroad yet. As a result, the race will feature an extra rest day a mere four days in as the entire peloton needs to travel from Ireland to Italy for the start of stage four.

 

Ireland’s ‘Big Start’ could prove to be a monumental start for Trek Factory Racing as well: two flat stages follow the opening team time trial and Giacomo Nizzolo is back to top form.

 

“In the team time trial we will not expect to be on the podium,” continued Baffi. “We have to be realistic here, we do not have [Kristof] Vandewalle to help us, so we will limit our losses the first day and target the next two stages in Ireland for Giacomo. These two stages could be two good options for him.

 

“At the moment we do not have an experienced [lead out] train to drive him, we are still in the process of building this. We have worked on it since the beginning of the year, but it takes time for this to come together. Right now we have a train led by Danilo [Hondo], but I am confident that despite this Giacomo will be able to fight for a win. When a sprinter sees the last kilometer, it does not matter.”

 

The big mountains will fall in the last eight days of the race, and it may be the final days of the three-week long event that determine the overall winner. There are two mountains stages sandwiched around a 26.8-kilometer mountain time trial, and these three stages should provide an thrilling conclusion to sort out the final GC before ending on a ceremoniously flat sprinters’ stage.

 

“I believe until the mountain stages the race will be controlled,” said Baffi. “The last week will be very hard. Our strategies for the GC are to stay quiet and see what we can do in the last week - we are not amongst the favorites. Instead, we need to take the opportunity that each day brings.”

 

With eight stages dedicated to the sprinters, three time trials, and 10 that include either high mountains or medium mountains, the 2014 Giro d’Italia has struck a balance between all disciplines.

 

The medium mountain days could be the days that surprise: the parcours are better tailored to the explosive power of Julian Arredondo, and to the relatively unknown and untested neo pro Riccardo Zoidl, both climbers extraordinaire who are sitting quietly in the wings. Throw in Fabio Felline, who is not to be underestimated in sprinting from a breakaway, or when the road goes up, Trek Factory Racing has more eggs in the basket than what first meets the eye.

 

“Of course it will not only be Giacomo and Robert,” stated Baffi. “For example we have [Fabio] Felline for the stage of Savona, which could be good for him. Our Giro will be day by day; we can play Julian, Riccardo, a break away with Felline - we have a lot of options.”

 

It’s a new team, a young team, and a team - despite it’s inexperience – that will be inspiring to watch.  And they just may pull off one or two surprises.

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