Etixx – Quick-Step hunting for stage wins at the Giro
In 2016, the Giro d’Italia will start for the 12th time in history from a foreign country, as the Dutch city of Apeldoorn will host a short and fast individual time trial.
In the first week-end, the sprinters are expected to be in the spotlight, before the race will explore a more difficult terrain, very suitable to the attackers. Of course, the fight for the pink jersey will once again hit the climax in the mountains, with such stages as Sestola, Alta Badia, Risoul or Sant’Anna di Vinadio giving the contenders plenty of opportunities to make the difference. On top of these, the Giro d’Italia also has two tough individual time trials, a long one taking place over the Chianti hills, while the second one will see the riders go up to Alpe di Siusi, which returns to the race after seven years.
One of the most successful teams to ride the Corsa Rosa in the past 15 years, with 12 stage wins and two jerseys (for the points, respectively the best young riders classification), Etixx – Quick-Step comes at the start of the first Grand Tour of the season with the goal of being again among the protagonists, and has every chance to do so, as it will field a squad which mixes youth with experience, ready to fight on every type of terrain and leave its mark on the race.
Etixx – Quick-Step’s line-up for the Giro d’Italia: Gianluca Brambilla, David De La Cruz, Bob Jungels, Marcel Kittel, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry, Matteo Trentin, Carlos Verona, Lukasz Wisniowski
One of the team’s sport directors for the first Grand Tour of the season, along with Tom Steels and Rik van Slycke, Davide Bramati – who as a rider raced this event 12 times – talked of the course put up by the organizers for the 99th Giro d’Italia:
“The first three days will be very difficult. If you look at the roadbook, you see just flat roads, but what it doesn’t show you are the strong winds in the Netherlands, which can make the race explode when you expect it the least, and that means you have to keep your focus at all times. As we return to Italy, the course will become tougher by the day, and the climbs of the Dolomites and French Alps, as well as the bad weather which we could experience, can take their toll on the riders.”
“We’re not making any secret of the fact that we’re coming here motivated to help Marcel get a stage victory and I think we have the potential to do that. Besides Marcel, we want to see how our young guys – Bob, David and Carlos – will fare on the climbs, especially those in the second half of the race, where also Gianluca can have an important word to say. I’m glad to have Matteo on the squad, who we can use as joker, but also Pieter, Lukasz and Fabio, all strong and reliable riders, who will support our leaders”, concluded Davide Bramati.