Team Sky has confirmed that Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa will be team leaders at the 100th Giro d’Italia when it starts in Sardinia a week today (May 5).
Thomas had suggested that he and Landa would be co-leaders at the race when he spoke to road.cc in December.
“I think we’ll both go in on an equal footing,” he told us. “I think I’ve done enough in previous years to warrant that role for a bit. We’ll see how the race pans out.”
The two will be supported by Philip Deignan, Kenny Elissonde, Michal Golas, Sebastian Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Salvatore Puccio and Diego Rosa.
Just one week to go until the #Giro100 kicks off. We can't wait - so let's meet the team!
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) April 28, 2017
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford commented: "The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia is going to be a special race. We want to make sure we are a key player in it and that we go there and make our mark. We’ve placed a lot of importance on performing well at this race. We have prepared properly for it to give the riders the best chance of making an impact.”
Thomas agreed. “My preparation has gone really well and I’m ready. I can’t wait to get there now. The Tour of the Alps was my last race before the Giro and so to win there was obviously a boost to my morale. I know it’s going to be a really strong field at the Giro and it will be a tough, unpredictable race but I’m looking forward to it.”
Landa, third in the 2015 Giro before moving to Team Sky, added: "The Giro is going to be a big challenge but I feel that I am in good form and it's a challenge I am ready for. As always, it is a race for the climbers and I think that will suit me. We have a strong team and I'm really looking forward to returning to the Giro with Team Sky.”
Brailsford said that the team would be focusing on the general classification with the other riders selected to fully support the two leaders.
“The last week of this Giro will be particularly demanding and the severity of those stages will be determining factors, so making sure we have climbing support in the high mountains has been a key consideration.”
Landa too fared well at the Tour of the Alps, finishing fifth overall, including second place behind Thomas on stage three.
Brailsford said: “Both Mikel and Geraint are coming into the race in excellent form and it’s exciting that they will be leading Team Sky into the 100th Giro d’Italia. They are two different types of rider and we see this as creating a real opportunity for us.
“In Grand Tour terms the first serious tests come early on and so we will arrive in Sardinia focused and ready to race from Kilometre One.”