The Giro d’Italia starts in nine days’ time and the provisional start list was released yesterday. Unless there is a late replacement, it seems that the race won’t feature any Irish riders this year.

Both Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) and Dan Martin (Cannondale – Garmin) weren’t expected to be listed amongst the starters as they are both focusing on the Tour de France instead. Taking on both Grand Tours can be particularly demanding and could potentially have limited their chances of performing well in France.

Philip Deignan (Team Sky) had been listed as a provisional starter on some websites, but not being selected for the Giro may improve his chances of making his debut in the Tour in July. Neither Sam Bennett’s Bora-Argon 18 team nor Matt Brammeier’s MTN-Qhubeka team have been selected for the Italian race.

The Giro starts off with a 17.6km team time-trial in San Lorenzo on the 9th of May. Amongst the favourites to take the win will be 2008 winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quickstep) who has finished second in the last two editions.

Other riders who could be expected to do well on GC include Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) who finished 3rd last year, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2R La Mondiale) and Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Soudal). Last year’s race was won by Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) who will concentrate on the Tour de France this year instead.


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