With four days until the start of the Giro d’Italia in Belfast, a number of teams who use fi’zi:k saddles have been buoyed by impressive performances from their riders this weekend.
Team Sky head to Belfast short of their original Giro leader, Richie Porte, due to a bout of gastroenteritis disrupting his plans earlier in the season. However, the nine-man squad still includes a wealth of talent including Edvald Boasson Hagen, Pete Kennaugh and Irishman Philip Deignan. The team travel to Northern Ireland off the back of Chris Froome’s victory at the Tour de Romandie where Froome, the current Tour de France champion, beat current world time-trial champion Tony Martin over yesterday’s 18.5km time trial. The stage win ensured Froome won the general classification for the second year in a row.
Cadel Evans, aboard his fi’zi:k saddle, will lead BMC Racing, supported by riders of the calibre of Brent Bookwalter and Manuel Quinziato. Team confidence is high after Martin Kohler earned the first jersey classification of his career, winning the sprint competition at the Tour de Romandie. It eased the memories of Friday’s withdrawal of Tejay Van Garderen after crashing last Tuesday.
Dan Martin’s aiming to become the first Irish winner of the Giro since 1987 when his uncle, Stephen Roche, won the Maglia Rosa and yellow jersey in the same year. On his fi’zi:k saddle, the Garmin Sharp rider certainly has form, taking second at the recent Fleche Wallonne.
That’s not forgetting the race favourite, Nairo Quintana of Movistar (and fi’zi:k). Last year’s Tour runner-up has been training in his native Columbia and will be looking to claim his maiden Grand Tour crown.
Other fi’zi:k riders to look out for include GC contenders Domenico Pozzovivo of AG2R La Mondiale and Cannondale’s Ivan Basso, and sprint king Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).