Trek-Segafredo have been pressured to pivot their Giro d’Italia targets simply days earlier than the beginning of the race following Giulio Ciccone’s COVID-19 constructive.
The Italian, who was excited in regards to the Grande Partenza in his dwelling area of Abruzzo, was anticipated to combat for mountain stage victories and be a GC challenger on the Corsa Rosa this month.
In his absence Trek-Segafredo will hunt for stage wins on all terrains. The US-registered WorldTour group will look to former world champion Mads Pedersen and 2019 fifth-place finisher Bauke Mollema for fulfillment.
Younger Eritrean climber Natnael Tesfatsion makes his Grand Tour debut for the group, whereas countryman Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier additionally rides together with Daan Hoole, Toms Skujins, Otto Vergaerde, and Alex Kirsch.
Trek-Segafredo introduced their Giro d’Italia line-up on social media, utilizing an Italian film theme for every rider. Pedersen was James Bond in Venice, whereas Mollema was proven as Jep Gambardella within the The Nice Magnificence film.
Final yr Juan Pedro López defended the maglia rosa for ten days after ending second on stage 3 to Mount Etna. He went on to complete tenth total and received the very best younger rider’s white jersey.
He’s additionally absent this yr and so Trek-Segafredo produce other plans for the Corsa Rosa.
“Firstly of a Grand Tour there’s all the time a perspective, an thought, a purpose and a greatest situation to attempt to obtain,” group directeur sportif Gregory Rast mentioned forward of Saturday’s opening time trial stage.
“However it’s inconceivable to foretell, as of now, what’s going to occur within the 21 days of racing. Biking is such an unpredictable sport. We should subsequently take a look at the Giro as 21 completely different objectives to intention for, the place the group, all collectively, should focus each day.
“We should even have the energy and the flexibility maybe to adapt our ways through the race, protecting in thoughts what we got here to the Giro to do: win phases.
“After all, not having Ciccone is an actual pity for us. Our probabilities of victory within the hardest phases, within the Alps and Dolomites, have been decreased rather a lot.
“Due to his energy on the climbs and the situation he confirmed, it was inconceivable to switch him 100%. However that is it and we’re now centered on how we carve out our personal area on the times when he would have been our chief.”
Ciccone can rely three mountain stage wins on his Giro palmarès – at Sestola in 2015 with Bardiani, after which at Ponte di Legno in 2019 and at Cogne final yr with Trek. He additionally received the newest of Trek’s 4 Giro jerseys, taking the maglia azzurra of the mountain classification 4 years in the past.
Pedersen, who together with Mollema, is hoping to finish a ‘grand slam’ of Grand Tour stage wins on the race, may very well be in competition for the ciclamino factors jersey, which Giacomo Nizzolo received for the group in 2015 and 2016.
“Mads can be our level of reference, the rider who, attributable to expertise and potential, deserves to be thought of our captain on the Giro,” Rast mentioned.
“We noticed him on the Classics, we noticed him on the Grand Excursions final yr. Mads is likely one of the best riders on this planet and he can combat on many alternative phases.
“His precedence to win a stage can be ours. We’ll focus our efforts on battling with robust opponents that, after all, are conscious of what Mads can do. By way of the factors jersey, I believe that’s one thing we are able to discuss on the way in which.”
Vergaerde, Kirsch, and Hoole are alongside for the trip in a help function, whereas Skujins, Ghebreigzabhier, and Tesfatsion could have freedom to go for the breakaways.
For Mollema, a constant performer with two Giro high 10s on his file, a stage win to finish his set can be the purpose, whereas one other strong GC outcome is not out of the query.
“He’s chasing a dream that, for his palmarès, could be just like the icing on the cake,” mentioned Rast. “We need to assist him notice that. Bauke is a strong rider, skilled and good sufficient to identify the very best alternatives through the Giro.
“He’s a die-hard rider and when the race turns into robust, when fatigue units in, like within the second and third week, he’ll be capable to emerge. He’ll have his possibilities and we’ll associate with him.”