The Giro picture is slowly coming together as BMC Racing announces its squad for the year’s first Grand Tour.
Marco Pinnoti will lead the team, which includes former World Champions Alessandro Ballan, Thor Hushovd, plus the thriving American Taylor Phinney. The squad has a few ambitions, including taking the prologue win behind the efforts of Phinny or Hushovd. The Giro begins in Denmark this year, and includes the prologue and two road stages. BMC also sends Johan Tschoop, Danilo Wyss, Mauro Santambrogio, Ivan Santaromita, and Mathias Frank.
Pinotti, at least on paper, doesn’t seem like a race winner, but he has ambitions for a high GC placing, and with his solid climbing and strong time trialing abilities, he can’t be ruled out. He’ll need a very strong prologue paired with a dominant showing from BMC in the team time trial. After the team’s win in that discipline at Giro del Trentino, that isn’t hard to imagine. Pinotto’s experience with HTC last year will fuel the fire. He wore the maglia rosa, only to break his hip on the 19th stage.
Other teams have been less ready to release confirmed rosters for May. RadioShack-Nissan is expected to send Tiago Machado as their top GC man, though some still suspect at least one Schleck will be on hand. With a Tour de France featuring lots of time trial miles and less severe mountain top finishes than 2011, climbers hoping for glory in big races may opt for the Giro. After the Wouter Weylandt tragedy last year, the former Leopard-TREK members will be especially eager to honor their teammate.
Team SKY has confirmed Geraint Thomas for the Giro as a part of his Olympics training before the Welshman bows out from the Tour to train on the track.
The Giro d’Italia starts on May 5 in Denmark.