The Grenadiers are all in for Budapest’s historic Grande Partenza.
It’s that time of year again, when Italy turns pink and the Grenadiers’ focus turns to Grand Tour racing. The first three week race of 2022 comprises 21 gruelling stages, contested across two countries, and a parcours peppered with the kind of brutal mountain stages so synonymous with the Giro.
This Giro team of Grenadiers will comprise of:
Here is what the team have to say about lining up next week to race the first Grand Tour of the year.
“I have a nice memory of the Giro from when I competed in it when the race was in Israel, in Tel Aviv. To be over there in that country racing and to then win a stage in my first Giro is one of those great memories that I have of this race. It’s a race that I love, maybe my favourite race, so to win there was special. That stage I really remember.
“Then when I won the Giro d’Italia in 2019 it was something really special, above everything it was always a race that I wanted to compete in, so to win it was an incredible moment. It wasn’t just a significant win for me, it was also a significant win for my country. It had a big impact and started a new era in cycling for Ecuador. It also had an impact on me mentally, as it showed me that I had the ability to be a successful Grand Tour racer.
“A great characteristic strength that we have in this team is that we’re all in for winning the Giro d’Italia. Every Grenadier knows this is the goal, we all have that in common and want to deliver. I think when you have a team that is all behind the same goal, and with a team of riders who are so strong, who are ready to help each other, that is a real strength.”
“I did my amateur days in Italy and that was like my cycling apprenticeship. Then I went to the Giro in 2010 as a neo pro and the next thing you know, I wore the pink jersey for three days. That was incredible and still some of the best memories of my career to be honest. It’s a privilege to go full circle and finish up at the Giro for my last Grand Tour.
“I’m 37 now but at the end of the day it's just a number isn’t it? I know I can perform on my day - obviously off bike I have a family now which changes things but on the bike I’m going as well as I ever have. Going into this race, we’ve got a guy in Richard Carapaz who can win this race. It’s nice to go there with a rider you like, respect and hopefully help win the race. It’s so motivating.”
Rod Ellingworth - Deputy Team Principal
“The team has shown already this year just how strong and competitive it can be. The younger riders have stepped up and surpassed the mark we originally set for them, and it’s been energising for every member of the team. Then the way the older riders are helping guide and encourage them, as well as still achieving results of their own, makes me incredibly proud. That mix of experience and energy, and a genuine enthusiasm to go all in for each other is our greatest strength as a team, and it’s proving to be successful.
“That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing what Richie Carapaz and this Giro team can do. It doesn’t feel that long ago that we saw Egan ride into the Piazza Duomo and take the pink jersey at last year’s edition, or with Tao the previous year. This race means a lot to our team, and I have every confidence that we are going to be lining up in Budapest with the ability and intense desire to win, just as much as we have done in any other edition. We’re set to take the race on.”
Our Giro d'Italia Team:
Richard Carapaz – 28, Ecuador
Since winning the Giro in a breakthrough ride in 2019, Carapaz has gone on to solidify his reputation as one of the most exciting racers in the sport. Already a national hero, he became the first Ecuadorian to podium at the Tour de France with third place last year. His attacking style was showcased with Olympic Gold in the Road Race, before finishing second at La Vuelta. Heading into the race as team leader, he will be targeting his second Giro title this year.
Jonathan Castroviejo – 35, Spain
Lining up in Budapest to begin his 15th Grand Tour, Castroviejo brings an invaluable blend of experience and climbing skill. A selfless teammate, he has evolved from a time trial specialist to one of the best medium mountain support riders in the peloton. Often going above and beyond taking huge turns on the front, his steady support and calming presence will be key across the three weeks.
Jhonatan Narvaez – 25, Ecuador
A versatile talent, Narvaez will be required to call on all of his skills as he tackles a fourth successive Giro. A proud compatriot of Richard Carapaz, Jhonatan claimed an impressive stage win at the 2020 edition of the race. Not only does he possess a quick turn of speed, he is also comfortable in the crosswinds and can turn his hand to setting tempo in the mid mountains. Every team needs an impressive all-rounder like Jhonatan.
Richie Porte – 37, Australia
Racing his 17th Grand Tour in what is set to be his final season as a professional, Richie will head into the Giro full of focus. One of the very best stage racers of his generation, the Tasmanian has a sparkling palmares featuring wins at some of the world’s biggest races. Most at home in the high mountains, he knows what it takes to race at the sharp end for three weeks, making him a huge asset to the team.
Salvatore Puccio – 32, Italy
With eight Giros already under his belt it’s safe to say Puccio loves racing at his home Grand Tour. He is also one of the most loved riders of the Grenadiers, with a blend of loyal, strong and selfless support riding that has seen him play a part in so much team success. A pro since the 2012 season, expect Salva to be putting that experience to good use, particularly on flatter terrain.
Pavel Sivakov – 24, France
With a 2019 top-10 Giro finish among his list of achievements, Pavel brings plenty of motivation into his sixth Grand Tour. Born in Italy, his young career has seen him grow into one of the sport’s strongest climbers on his day. His presence will be much needed when it comes to both the medium and high mountains. With wins at the Tour of the Alps and Tour of Poland, Pavel has shown he can ride well for himself or play a powerful team role.
Ben Swift – 34, Great Britain
Part of the team’s successful Giro win in 2020, Swift’s exceptional climbing and eventual 18th place finish flew slightly under the radar. A sprinter when he turned pro in 2009, the Brit has fully rounded out his talents as he’s gained experience. The two-time reigning British national road champion will provide key support across all terrains and is an unflappable presence in the team after 14 years of pro peloton experience.
Ben Tulett – 20, Great Britain
The youngest member of the Grenadiers lineup, Tulett makes his Grand Tour debut at this year’s Giro. The Brit has impressed greatly since turning pro two years ago, with bags of climbing potential. Already a stage winner this year at Coppi e Bartali, Ben will learn a lot more about himself across the three weeks, with a great opportunity to test himself in the mountains in a support role.