Bahrain Victorious announces Giro d’Italia lineup

May 6th sees the start of the Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of the year, which for 2023 features three time trials and six mountain stages, over 3489 kilometres in total.

Team Bahrain Victorious head to the ‘Grande Partenza’ in Abruzzo with Jack Haig as leader. The Australian has started the Giro twice in his career, but always riding in support of another. He arrives on the back of a podium at The Tour of the Alps, and promising form in all four stage races in which he has participated this year.

As usual the ‘percorso’ suits the climbers. The riders will tackle a total of 51,400 metres of altitude gain, including three stages with over 5,000m each, and over 70kms against the clock.

Supporting Jack in the mountains will be Damiano Caruso, 2nd in the Giro two years ago, and making his sixth appearance at his home Grand Tour. Alongside them Gino Mäder also takes to the startline for the second time, having won stage 6 in 2021. Columbian Santiago Buitrago travels to Italy after a standout 3rd place finish at Liège-Bastogne-Liège last week, his 3rd race podium of the season. The 23 year old made his Giro debut 12 months ago, winning the 17th stage. Completing the list of climbers is Edoardo Zambanini, who competed in his first Grand Tour at the 2022 Vuelta a España, riding for Mikel Landa.

Lead Sports Director for the three weeks will be Gorazd Štangelj, who explains more about the team’s overall objectives:

Jack is our GC leader, and we also have Damiano, Gino & Santiago. 

Of course we will look at the situation day by day. There is some very strong competition at the race this year, particularly with so much time trialling, so our goal of the podium would be a really big achievement. Damiano showed great condition at Romandie, Jack in the Alps, Santi at Liege as well as the Alps, and Gino’s form is improving too.”

The opening week has a mix of profiles, topped & tailed by relatively flat time trials of 19 & 35 kms on stages 1 & 9. In between are days for sprinters and puncheurs, and the first real mountain test, stage 7, which concludes with a seemingly endless ascent to the Gran Sasso d’Italia at 2130m.

After the first rest day and a journey to the West of the peninsula, the peloton face three fairly straightforward days before the GC battle comes back into focus. The Giro crosses into Switzerland on stage 13, midway through which appears the highest point of the race, the ’Cima Coppi’, at the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard (2469m).

The demanding Croix de Coeur follows, ahead of a summit finish atop the 1st category Crans-Montana.

There are six days when the fast men will believe they can take victory, and six hilly stages to entice the breakaway specialists. Bahrain will be hoping to challenge on those too, Jonathan Milan, Olympic gold medallist on the track, the designated sprinter. Supporting him on the flat is fellow Italian Andrea Pasqualon, and the experienced Jasha Sütterlin, returning for his third Giro. Their primary role will of course, be to look after our GC riders, but in the right circumstances may be given the freedom to fight for win.

Štangelj comments, 

Every day we will give the riders tasks and opportunities, as well as protecting the leaders. We will look at every stage to see where we might find our moment of glory.

I’m happy to have Jonathan here, even though we won’t be able to give him much support on the stages that suit him. But he should be able to find some space once the GC boys are safe.

We have Edoardo as climbing support, Jasha Andrea & Jonathan as flat support, but of course everyday we will have an objective in mind.

The Giro d’Italia claims to be ‘The world’s toughest race, in the world’s most beautiful place’, and every year the final week is loaded with climbing. Three days in the high mountains and a gruelling time trial up the 1st category Monte Lussari before a closing sprint in Rome. Stage 19 in the Dolomites is seen by many as the ‘Queen Stage’: the 183 km from Longarone to Tre Cime di Lavaredo takes in five formidable ascents in the last 100kms, and a 5th summit finish.

The 106th edition of the Giro is a mouthwatering prospect, and promises high drama & excitement from start to finish, in the shadow of some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenerey

Štangelj is looking forward to leading the Bahrain Victorious challenge:

We have a great team here, and we will chase opportunities every day in this Giro d’Italia.”



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