The first grand tour of the season kicks off this week with the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia starting Saturday in Bologna. CCC Team rolls into the Corsa Rosa with a mix of young riders and veterans—and an aim of going for stage wins.
“For us, the first goal of this year’s Giro d’Italia will be to race aggressively and to win a stage,” said team sports director Gabriele Missaglia. “I think we have a well-rounded rider roster that can look to make the most out of every stage and try to go in the important breakaways. While we don’t have any of the favorites on our lineup, I am confident in the team and its ability to fight for stage wins.”
The team’s experienced riders include Dutchman Laurens ten Dam, racing his fourth Giro, Italian Jakub Mareczko in his third, and Spaniards Francisco Ventoso and Victor de la Parte, also each racing their third.
Ten Dam knows what it’s like to win Italy’s grand tour, having played a key role in helping a team leader win in 2009 (Denis Menchov) and 2017 (Tom Dumoulin). Both those overall wins came on Giant bikes, and once again ten Dam will be racing most stages on the legendary TCR Advanced SL.
While the TCR Advanced SL will be the main choice for most mountain stages, CCC Team riders also have the Propel Advanced SL Disc aero road bike for flatter stages and the Trinity Advanced Pro TT for the three time trials. In addition, riders will have the Rev, Pursuit and Rivet TT helmets for various stages and race conditions, along with pre-production WheelSystems branded #overachieve.
“I am feeling good about my condition heading to Bologna for the start of my first grand tour with CCC Team,” said ten Dam. “I am happy to have the chance to go for my own results. It is nice to have a different goal and I am feeling pretty confident.”
Ventoso has also tasted success at the Giro, having won two stages in the past (2011, 2012). The 37-year-old was injured in a crash earlier this season at the Paris-Nice stage race, but said his form is back and he’s ready to go.
“I’m super happy to be back racing at the Giro d’Italia because it is one of my favorite races,” Ventoso said. “Our goal as a team is to win stages and I want to help try to do that.”
The team also has three riders making their grand tour debut at this year’s Giro: Kamil Gradek (Poland), Josef Černy (Czech Republic)and Amaro Antunes (Portugal).
The race kicks off in the north of Italy with an 8km Saturday evening time trial in Bologna that climbs to the Basilica della Madonna di San Luca. Over the next three weeks, riders will cover 21 stages traveling 3,578km and finish June 2 in Verona. The route travels south through Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo and Puglia, and then heads back north through San Marino for a second time trial.
From there, riders head into the Alps and will face the mighty Passo Gavia and Passo del Mortirolo in the second week. The third week promises plenty of drama, with more grueling mountain stages in the Dolomites.
Here’s the team’s full roster for the 2019 Giro d’Italia:
Amaro Antunes (POR)
Josef Černy (CZE)
Victor de la Parte (ESP)
Kamil Gradek (POL)
Jakub Mareczko (ITA)
Łukasz Oswian (POL)
Laurens ten Dam (NED)
Francisco Ventoso (ESP)