Sports Director Gabriele Missaglia said that CCC Team will be looking to race aggressively with all eight riders having the freedom to race for their own results while keeping an eye on the General Classification.
“For us, the first goal of this year’s Giro d’Italia will be to race aggressively and try to win a stage. I think we have a well-rounded rider roster that can look to make the most out of every stage and try to go in the important breakaways. While we don’t have any of the favorites on our line-up, I am confident in the team and its ability to fight for stage wins. As well as fighting for stage wins, Víctor de la Parte and Laurens ten Dam will have the chance to see what they can do on the General Classification and I think both riders have prepared well for the next three weeks of racing,” Missaglia explained.
“Francisco Ventoso, whose condition is looking good after his crash at Paris-Nice, has tasted success at the Giro d’Italia and he will bring that knowledge with him to our roster. As well as taking their own chances where possible, Ventoso and Łukasz Owsian will play an important role in helping Jakub Mareczko on the predicted bunch sprint stages.”
CCC Team will have three riders making their Grand Tour debut in Italy.
“As well as bringing a wealth of experience to the start line, we will also have some youthful energy on our rider roster with three riders making their Grand Tour debut. Kamil Gradek has had a strong Classics season and he will come to Italy with a solid block of racing behind him. Josef Černý has also had the chance to show his strength over the first part of the season while Amaro Antunes is finding his legs in the UCI WorldTour and I think we will see his form build over the course of the race with an eye on the tough mountain stages in the third week,” Missaglia added.
Giro d’Italia (11 May – 2 June)
Amaro Antunes (POR): First time racing
“I am very happy about lining up at my first Grand Tour this week. I have mixed feelings about the Giro d’Italia because while I am, of course, excited and motivated to start, I am not 100 percent sure about my condition. However, saying that, my goal is to get better throughout the race and to give my best for the team on what is a difficult parcours.”
Josef Černý (CZE): First time racing
“I am really looking forward to my first Grand Tour. I am feeling motivated and I am happy with how my preparation has been going. My goal for the race is to try to jump in a good breakaway group and make it to the finish with the best result possible. All three weeks will be hard and long, the first week especially, but I know that as a team we can fight for results at this race.”
Víctor de la Parte (ESP): 2017, 2018
“I am looking forward to racing my third Giro d’Italia because it is a race that I love and I also think that I am coming into it in good shape after some nice performances at my last races. The parcours is a little different this year with no mountain stages in the first part of the race and a really hard final week. I think we have a strong team that can show off the CCC Team jersey in all the different types of stages and we will try to fight for victory every day.”
Kamil Gradek (POL): First time racing
“After the Classics, I had a break and started to prepare for the Giro d’Italia. This will be my first Grand Tour and my first Giro so, I only know the race through the stories people have told me but I’m feeling good now and I’m excited for the start of the race. It’s going to be a heavy three weeks of racing but, I will take the race day by day and look to give 100 percent for the team at all times. We do not have the biggest names but names do not win races and I think we have a well-balanced team, with a good combination of freshness and experience, and we will be able to fight on any terrain.”
Jakub Mareczko (ITA): 2016 – 2018
“The Giro d’Italia is one of my favorite races. It’s my home Grand Tour and it is a race that I am always motivated for, this year is no exception. As always, there are some good opportunities for sprinters and having finished second on three occasions in the past, I want to be fighting for stage wins again this year. I am not 100 percent sure about the form I am coming into the race with but, I have confidence in myself and in our team.”
Łukasz Owsian (POL): 2015, 2017
“This will be my third Giro d’Italia and I am happy with my preparation for the race and my condition coming into it. Firstly, I would like to have the opportunity to be in a good breakaway one day and try to fight for a stage win and secondly, I want to do a good job for my teammates and work hard for them when needed. This year’s race will be very hard, the parcours is demanding but, we have got a good group of CCC Team riders lining up. It will be difficult, of course, but I think we have a team that has the strength and the motivation to try to fight for results every day.”
Laurens ten Dam (NED): 2009, 2017, 2018
“I am feeling good about my condition heading to Bologna for the start of my first Grand Tour with CCC Team. This will be my fourth Giro d’Italia, the first two I won and the third, I finished second with my team leader but this year, to be honest, I am happy to have the chance to go for my own results. It is nice to have a different goal and I am feeling pretty confident. My build-up to the race has been going well, it was like it was in my best years, and I am thankful for the team giving me the freedom to do that. We will see what happens but my head is full of fighting spirit and we have a good team so I would really like to see us all make some good results.”
Francisco Ventoso (ESP): 2005, 2011 (winner, stage 6), 2012 (winner, stage 8) – 2014, 2017, 2018
“I’m super happy to be back racing at the Giro d’Italia because it is one of my favorite races and, for me, it is the best Grand Tour. My feelings are good right now and I am getting better all the time after the crash at Paris-Nice which saw me injure my hand. I think this year will be another nice Giro for me and as always my goal is to help and support my teammates as much as possible but, this year, I will also look for my own opportunities. Our goal as a team is to win stages and I want to help try to do that. This year’s race is different from others because there is no proper GC day in the first week however, I think we will still see a big fight. Overall, we have a really good team with a lot of morale and motivation so, I think we can do something nice over the three weeks.”
Sports Directors: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)