Team Sky announces Giro line-up, GB's Swift & Kennaugh join Ireland's Deignan for Belfast start

Attacking team announced for three-week race with four Grand Tour winners led by Edvald Boasson Hagen

by Simon_MacMichael   April 24, 2014  

Team Sky bus, Giro 2011 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Team Sky has announced its squad for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Belfast a fortnight tomorrow, with the team including Irishman Philip Deignan, who begins a Grand Tour on his native island. It’s an attacking line-up that includes several Grand Tour stage winners, plus one looking to clinch his first, British sprinter Ben Swift.

Unlike last year when then Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins was looking to add the Giro d’Italia to his palmarès – he left the race early due to illness, but Sky would clinch second place on GC through Rigoberto Uran – there are no stated ambitions for the overall win.

Instead, it looks as though Sky will be targeting stage wins, and besides Deignan, winner of a Vuelta stage in 2009, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dario Cataldo and Kanstantsin Siutsou all have experience of doing just that at this level.

They are joined by Swift, Peter Kennaugh, Sebasian Henao, Bernard Eisel, Sebastian Henao and Salvatore Puccio, who spent a day in the race leader’s maglia rosa last year after Sky won the Stage 2 team time trial on the island of Ischia.

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford, who recently stepped down from his role as performance director at British Cycling to focus on Team Sky, said: “The Giro d’Italia is a fantastic race and this year provides a great opportunity for the team to go out and really express themselves on the bike.

“We’ve brought together an exciting squad and we can’t wait, not only for the start in Northern Ireland, but to perform in front of our Italian fans.”

Deignan, who won that 2009 Vuelta stage in Avila in the colours of Cervélo TestTeam and finished the race in ninth place overall, joined Sky ahead of this season from United Healthcare, suffered a shoulder injury in February but is currently racing the Giro del Trentino in Italy.

He said: “As soon as I heard that the Giro d’Italia was starting in Northern Ireland it was a goal of mine to be there, and racing there with Team Sky is a real honour for me.

“We’re going with a good balance of youth and experience; we’re all looking forward to it. Growing up in County Donegal I never dreamt of riding a Grand Tour here in Ireland and this is my chance. I’m going to relish every minute of it racing in front of my friends and family.”

Here is the full squad, with rider descriptions from Team Sky:

Edvald Boasson Hagen – age 26 – Norway

Returning to the scene of his Grand Tour debut back in 2009, the multi-talented Norwegian excels both in the sprints and setting a tempo on the climbs. He is a former stage winner at the Giro d’Italia.

Dario Cataldo – age 29 – Italy

The former Italian TT champion will line up for an impressive seventh start at his home Grand Tour. Two 12th placed finishes at the Giro d’Italia demonstrate not only class but also consistency.

Philip Deignan – age 30 – Ireland

The Irishman recently returns from a broken collarbone, Deignan is a strong climber, not to mention a Grand Tour stage winner at the Vuelta a Espana.

Bernhard Eisel – age 33 – Austria

One of the most experienced and well-respected competitors in the peloton, the 33-year-old Austrian brings horsepower and speed, as well as knowledge gained from 14 previous Grand Tour outings.

Sebastian Henao – age 20 – Colombia

Making his Grand Tour debut in his first season as a professional, a string of assured climbing performances sees the Colombian rewarded with a start at the biggest race of his career.

Pete Kennaugh – age 24 – Great Britain

Following a strong 2013, the Manxman starts his third Giro d’Italia climbing strongly and fresh from recent victory at Settimana Coppi e Bartali.

Salvatore Puccio – age 24 – Italy

A year on from famously donning the Maglia Rosa leader’s jersey in his Grand Tour debut, the Italian returns to his home race a stronger and more well-rounded rider.

Kanstantsin Siutsou – age 31 – Belarus

Another former stage winner at the Giro d’Italia, the Belarusian tasted success one day after teammate Boasson Hagen back in 2009. A top-10 finisher in the event, ‘Kosta’ is a valuable asset in any three-week stage race.

Ben Swift – age 26 – Great Britain

Currently riding with good form including sprint victories and a podium at Milan-San Remo, the Brit will hope to put his fast finish to good use as he hones in on a landmark Grand Tour stage win.

10 user comments

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Good team however no stand out GC contender. Give Pete ago as team leader as he will be the future of British GC cycling. Bit unsure which Heneo will turn up.

posted by Will Steed [48 posts]
24th April 2014 - 12:46

27 Likes

Good team designed for stage wins rather than GC which should make the whole tour easier for them.

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

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posted by stumps [2757 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:49

27 Likes

stumps wrote:
Good team designed for stage wins rather than GC which should make the whole tour easier for them.

Very true.

posted by Super Domestique [1600 posts]
24th April 2014 - 14:49

17 Likes

Come on Road.cc, this is an undigested Team Sky press handout. Where's the analysis? Two years ago Sky had so many GC contenders they were bickering with each other, now they've thrown in the towel at the second biggest race in the world before they've even begun. No Uran, no Wiggins, JTL lost without trace, Thomas is strong but keeps falling off. Are the wheels coming off the Sky bus? Valverde and Contador are out there winning races, my spies in Tenerife tell me Froome and most of Sky have been spotted this week hidden away on Teide. Doesn't look good for the Tour

posted by Default Username [5 posts]
24th April 2014 - 19:37

22 Likes

Thats the problem, because Sky have won GT's and come second in 2 others people automatically think it has to be the GC or nothing.

The other team riders have buried themselves so Wiggins, Froome etc get their moment of glory but now its their turn to win stages and get their bit of glory. I see no problem at all with them not going for GC here and as for the tour dont doubt Brailsford and the team getting Froome and Porte firing on all cyclinders.

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2757 posts]
24th April 2014 - 21:38

17 Likes

This is just a regurgitated press release. What of Henao's benching by Sky management for his unusual blood test results in March? Will he get back on a race schedule? The whole situation with Henao seems mighty strange.

posted by giobox [284 posts]
25th April 2014 - 6:22

11 Likes

giobox wrote:
This is just a regurgitated press release. What of Henao's benching by Sky management for his unusual blood test results in March? Will he get back on a race schedule? The whole situation with Henao seems mighty strange.

Yes strange seems to have been brushed under the carpet. Any other team and I think this would have been big news

Cycled up Alpe d'Huez at least once each month since July 2008

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posted by gbzpto [79 posts]
25th April 2014 - 7:39

11 Likes

giobox wrote:
This is just a regurgitated press release. What of Henao's benching by Sky management for his unusual blood test results in March? Will he get back on a race schedule? The whole situation with Henao seems mighty strange.

Results aren't due for another month or so I think I'd expect something in May at some point.

Anyway - yay Pete & Swifty - this is amazing news Smile

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
25th April 2014 - 8:11

15 Likes

On the twitter account of Froome: April 20th heading home again after a big block of training at altitude. Next stop Leige-Bastogne-Leige and Tour de Romandie.

Maybe, Default Username, you should change of spies. During this week, it was difficult to be hidden when you have already left.

How du you want that the youngers learn to deal with GT if you don't let them do it. Let them prove that they can do.

cther

posted by cther [1 posts]
25th April 2014 - 12:30

17 Likes

Could have predicted that line-up. It's clear Sky aern't going to challenge for a podium place in GC, but they will have plenty of chances for stage wins. It would be fantastic if Swift could get his first grand tour stage win. He is definitely on form.

posted by NeilG83 [250 posts]
25th April 2014 - 17:56

10 Likes