A roster of young stars from Team Ineos will take to the start of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, including Eddie Dunbar, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov.
The team has confirmed its eight-man roster, without star Colombian Egan Bernal who broke his collarbone on Saturday (May 4) in a training crash.
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Ineos will race their first Grand Tour under the new name, relying on youth over experience with 21-year-old Russian Sivakov and 24-year-old Londoner Geoghegan Hart.
Irishman Dunbar, 22, helped Chris Lawless to win the Tour of Yorkshire overall last week and has been give a spot on the Giro team after Bernal pulled out.
Bernal crashed going around a slippery roundabout on Saturday training in Andorra. He had just returned from Colombia and was squeezing in his final training rides at his European base before heading to the Giro start in Bologna on Saturday (May 11).
This season, he won Paris-Nice overall and placed third in the Volta a Catalunya while building toward the Giro.
Team Ineos will likely field the 22-year-old Colombian in the Tour de France. Last year, he made his Grand Tour debut in the Tour by helping Froome to third overall and Geraint Thomas to the overall title.
Colombian Sebastián Henao, 25, and new 2019 recruits Colombian Iván Sosa, 21, and 22-year-old Ecuadorian Jhonatan Narvaez are also due to ride in a youthful squad.
Dunbar, Sosa and Narvaez are making their Grand Tour debut at the Giro, with experienced hands German Christian Knees, 38, and Italian Salvatore Puccio, 29, completing the eight-man team.
Sivakov won the amateur Giro in 2017 in a season that also included the Ronde de l’Isard and Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta overall titles. Sky signed him for the 2018 season and allowed him to race the Vuelta a España. With the Tour of the Alps overall title last week, he gave the team its last win. Tao Geoghegan Hart helped him and won two stages and placed second overall.
Without Bernal, they will have freedom to explore their limits in Grand Tours. Sivakov said at the Tour of the Alps, “Of course, the win was good for the confidence ahead of the Giro. I know my shape is there and now I just have to do everything right to be ready. It’s also good for the confidence of the team because we saw Tao Geoghegan Hart going well, winning two stages.”