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“The Giro d’Italia has been my main goal of the season. I’ve worked very hard through the winter and am entering the race strong, healthy and up for the challenge."

Photo: Sirotti

BERNHARD EISEL

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ELIA VIVIANI

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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KANSTANTIN SIUTSOU

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LEOPOLD KÖNIG

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MIKEL NIEVE

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RICHIE PORTE

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SALVATORE PUCCIO

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TEAM SKY

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VASIL KIRYENKA

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05.05.2015 @ 11:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Richie Porte will lead Team Sky for the first Grand Tour of the year, the 2015 Giro d'Italia.

 

Porte, who has already won Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino this season, will lead the nine-man team which features Italian riders Salvatore Puccio and sprinter Elia Viviani, alongside Bernhard Eisel, Sebastián Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve and Kanstantsin Siutsou.

 

The 98th edition of Giro d'Italia starts on Saturday 9 May with a team time trial in San Lorenzo al Mare and concludes on Sunday 31 May in Milan.

 

Team Sky’s race leader Richie Porte said: “The Giro d’Italia has been my main goal of the season. I’ve worked very hard through the winter and am entering the race strong, healthy and up for the challenge. The competition will be tough, and obviously anything can happen in a Grand Tour, but we’ve got a great group of riders going into the race and we are ready for it.”

 

On confirming the team line-up Team Principal, Dave Brailsford, said: “Team Sky has had a great start to the year and we are going into the first Grand Tour of the season with a strong team, led by Richie.

 

“Richie is entering the race in good shape and with real focus and determination. He’s made a lot of small changes across a number of areas in his preparation and training this season after the illness that affected his performance in 2014. His results this season speak for themselves with excellent wins at Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino. This is one of the biggest and toughest races to win in the calendar but we go to the Giro confident about the challenge ahead.”

 

The Team Sky squad for the 2015 Giro d'Italia:

 

Bernhard Eisel – age 34 – Austria

Lining up for his 17th Grand Tour appearance, the Austrian has carved out a reputation as one of the most respected road captains in the peloton. Few can read a race like Eisel, who also boasts renowned lead-out abilities and power on the flat.

 

Sebastián Henao – age 21 – Colombia

One of the most exciting climbing prospects in the sport, Henao made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro last year as the youngest rider in the race. The Colombian took the event in his stride, and with 12 months of experience he could be a rider to watch this year.

 

Vasil Kiryienka – age 33 – Belarus

The powerful Belarusian’s fifth appearance at the Giro will be his first in Team Sky colours. Often seen setting a fierce tempo on the front of the peloton, Kiryienka has also enjoyed individual success at the race, with two epic mountain stage victories in 2008 and 2011 respectively.

 

Leopold König – age 27 – Czech Republic

A new arrival at Team Sky over the winter, the Czech climber has a superb record in his blossoming Grand Tour career. With top-10 overall finishes already secured at both the Tour and the Vuelta, König has all the tools to make an impact on his Giro debut.

 

Mikel Nieve – age 30 – Spain

An elite climber suited to the steepest slopes, Nieve has finished in the top 10 on both his previous visits to the biggest race in Italy. 2011 saw him take a huge stage victory at Val di Fassa, and the Basque rider will by a key climbing ally for Richie Porte this time around.

 

Richie Porte – age 30 – Australia

Team Sky’s leader at the 2015 Giro d’Italia, the Tasmanian has enjoyed his best ever start to a season, with nine victories already under his belt. After back-to-back stage race victories at Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and the recent Giro del Trentino, Porte heads into the race as one of the favourites. He also made his name at the 2010 Giro, wearing the leader’s jersey and winning the young rider classification.

 

Salvatore Puccio – age 25 – Italy

Another member of Team Sky who knows what it is like to wear the famous Maglia Rosa, Puccio had a debut Giro to remember in 2013 when he led the race for a day. Now in his fourth season as a pro, the Italian will have a key team role to play across the three weeks.

 

Kanstantsin Siutsou – age 32 – Belarus

Another man with a Giro stage victory on his palmares, Siutsou heads into the race carrying great form out of the recent Giro del Trentino. A key rider in Team Sky’s climbing plans, the Belarusian will be one of the last riders to pull off in the high mountains.

 

Elia Viviani – age 26 – Italy

The second of Team Sky's Italian contingent, Viviani has come close to an elusive Grand Tour stage victory in both his previous participations at the Giro. After a strong start to the season, the sprinter will be hoping to get a bit of luck to match his renowned finishing speed.

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