Eddie Dunbar has been included in Team INEOS’ line-up for the Giro d’Italia, which will mark his Grand Tour debut. The news follows on from a very impressive performance by the 22 year-old at the Tour de Yorkshire at the weekend where he finished third overall after an attacking performance on the final stage where he also finished third.
Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov will lead the team at the race – the team’s first Grand Tour under new ownership – and the duo will be supported by a largely youthful looking line-up including six riders aged 25 or under, as the team returns to the race won by Chris Froome in 2018.
In addition to Dunbar, Geoghegan Hart (24) and Sivakov (21) will be joined on the start line in Bologna on May 11th by Sebastian Henao, Christian Knees, Jhonatan Narvaez, Salvatore Puccio and Ivan Sosa. The average age of the eight-man team is 25 years – the team’s youngest-ever Grand Tour lineup.
Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov made their Grand Tour debuts last year at the Vuelta a España, and impressed at the Tour of the Alps last month, with three stage wins and a one-two on the final GC.
This year’s Giro will feature seven summit finishes and three time trials – and Team Principal Dave Brailsford is relishing the prospect of seeing his young team compete in the 102nd edition of the famous race. He said: “Over the last two seasons we have been bringing together a carefully selected group of young riders who we believe to be the future of our Team.
“Whilst very much in the learning and development phase of their careers, we have nevertheless already seen them taking great strides forwards this year with Egan, Pavel and Chris Lawless all winning stage races and Tao, Ivan, Jhonatan, Sebastian and Eddie all riding exceptionally well.
“With this developmental goal in mind, we have chosen to field our youngest-ever team for a Grand Tour and it’s fitting it should be our first one as Team INEOS. We will not dramatically change our approach to the race as we will still look to give each rider the greatest developmental opportunities and to learn and gain as much experience as possible.”
“Egan’s injury is a real shame as he was to lead the team in a Grand Tour for the first time. However, I’m sure he will be fighting fit come July. Eddie will now come into the Team for his first Giro and given his recent performances it is well deserved.”
He added: “We will not dramatically change our approach to the race as we will still look to give each rider the greatest developmental opportunities and to learn and gain as much experience as possible.
“Both Salvatore and Christian have been selected to add in a wealth of Grand Tour experience and to support the riders who will be racing for three weeks for the first time.”
Brailsford has challenged his young team to embrace the next few weeks, adding: “Whilst we have set ourselves some clear targets and goals, the most important thing is to animate the race, embrace it and enjoy it too – as a young Team we really want them to feel an excitement and anticipation of taking on this adventure and to test themselves and see where they get to.
“We will all feel very proud to start our first Grand Tour as Team INEOS and start what I’m sure is going to be a great journey together.”