Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov to lead Team Ineos at Giro

Tao Geoghegan Hart (left), Pavel Sivakov (centre) and Chris Froome (right) celebrate on the podium after the 2019 Tour of the Alps

Tao Geoghean Hart (left) and Pavel Sivakov (centre) will lead Team Ineos at the Giro, with 2018 champion Chris Froome (right) not racing this year

Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart and Russia’s Pavel Sivakov will lead Team Ineos at the Giro d’Italia after Egan Bernal was ruled out with injury.

Colombian Bernal, 22, was due to lead the team but broke his collarbone in a training ride on Saturday.

It is the British team’s first Grand Tour since Ineos took over from Sky as title sponsors earlier this month.

Chris Froome, the 2018 champion, will not be competing in the three-week race that starts on 11 May.

Geoghegan Hart, 24, and Sivakov, 21, will be supported by Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar, Germany’s Christian Knees, Ecuador’s Jhonatan Narvaez, Italian Salvatore Puccio and Colombians Sebastian Henao and Ivan Sosa.

Dunbar, 22, replaces Bernal in the line-up having helped Chris Lawless win the men’s Tour de Yorkshire on Sunday and will be making his Grand Tour debut, as will Narvaez, 22, and Sosa, 21.

Froome, meanwhile, is targeting a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title this year.

With an average age of 25, it is the youngest squad the team has ever fielded at a Grand Tour, having won eight such races during Sky’s decade-long backing.

“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,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

“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.”

Brailsford added it was a “real shame” Bernal had to withdraw but said that the highly-rated Colombian will be “fighting fit” for July, with the 2019 Tour de France starting in Brussels on Saturday, 6 July.

Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov both claimed their first professional wins last month at the Tour of the Alps, a key preparation race for the Giro.

Sivakov went on to claim the overall title, with Geoghegan Hart finishing second after winning two stages.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia begins with a 8.2km individual time trial in Bologna, with the route featuring another two time trials and seven summit finishes.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48191358

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