The British outfit are reigning champions in the Giro, after Tao Geoghegan Hart took an unexpected victory in last year’s unpredictable edition.
But with Geoghegan Hart targeting the Tour de France this year, leadership in the Italian Grand Tour now falls to Bernal, who is shaking up his approach to racing after his previous dominance in stage races.
Bernal, who hasn’t raced since March, will be making his debut in the Giro, having won the 2019 Tour de France at just 22 years old.
Bernal has been struggling with back problems over the last year, which eventually forced him to retire from the 2020 Tour de France.
While he has been relatively quiet so far this season compared to previous years, Bernal has still finished on the podium in the Tour de la Provence and Strade Bianche, then finishing fourth in Tirreno-Adriatico.
The Colombian star will have an elite squad surrounding him in the mountains of Italy, most notably with Pavel Sivakov as a key support rider and an outside contender for the general classification himself.
Italian star Filippo Ganna will return to the Giro d’Italia in the hopes of once again dominating the time trials, with two chances for the solo specialist to take a stage win.
Daniel Martínez, winner of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné, will be riding his first Grand Tour with Ineos Grenadiers after he transferred from EF Pro Cycling at the end of last season.
Then for back-up on the challenging terrain of Italy, Ineos will be taking TT specialist Jonathan Castroviejo, Jhonatan Narváez, Salvatore Puccio and Gianni Moscon.
Ineos Grenadiers squad for the Giro d’Italia 2021
Egan Bernal (Col)
Pavel Sivakov (Rus)
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp)
Jhonatan Narváez (Ecu)
Salvatore Puccio (Ita)
Gianni Moscon (Ita)
Daniel Martínez (Col)