Ryder Hesjedal and Tyler Farrar will lead Garmin-Barracuda at the Giro d’Italia, targeting success in the general classification and bunch sprints respectively.
Hesjedal’s best Grand Tour to date came in the 2010 Tour de France, when the Canadian finished sixth, and the 31-year-old will start the Giro on Saturday with overall victory a realistic ambition.
Farrar won two Giro stages in 2010, Garmin’s debut in the race, but the American withdrew from last year’s edition following the death of his close friend and training partner, Wouter Weylandt, on stage three.
Jack Bauer, Robbie Hunter, Ramunas Navardauskas, Alex Rasmussen, Sébastien Rosseler, Peter Stetina and Christian Vande Velde complete Garmin’s nine-man line-up, who will start the stage four individual time trial among the favourites.
“Team Garmin-Barracuda heads into the Giro with a very balanced team to meet all terrains,” the team’s director of competition, Allan Peiper, told Bicycling. “We have Tyler Farrar for the sprints with the help of leadout man Robbie Hunter, plus strongmen Rasmussen, Bauer, Navardauskas, and Rosseler.
“We’ve also got a strong group of GC riders to support our race leader, Ryder Hesjedal: top ten Tour de France finisher Christian Vande Velde, and an in-form Peter Stetina, who finished top 20 at the Giro last year. It should be an exciting race, and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s start.”