Sam Bewley is the only New Zealander to feature on the longlist for the 2016 Giro d’Italia.  The Orica GreenEDGE rider is looking likely for a return to the first Grand Tour of the season, a race he debuted at last year where he took his first Grand Tour stage win in the team time trial.

The longlist for the 2016 Giro d’Italia is an impressive one with the key feature in terms of GC aspirations being the return of 2013 Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali.  Nibali will take his place in an Astana team that has 18 victories to its name this year already – two of which can be attributed to him – and the squad must really be attributed favourite status for a repeat win for Nibali.

The Italian has ridden his home Grand Tour 5 times, won it once, and been on the podium every one of the three times he’s participated in the race this decade.  The team he will be riding with is bristling with strength and not short on confidence after Nibali appeared to take on domestique duties in service of Jakob Fuglsang and Tanel Kangert.  The pair took two of the top three spots in the Giro Del Trentino – the race that is to the Giro what the Criterium du Dauphine is to the Tour de France – with Tanel Kangert securing two stage wins.

The team will be supremely confident after their team time trial performance in Trentino too, with the full squad listed for the Giro d’Italia (minus Andrey Zeits) forming the team that dominated the Giro del Trentino team time trial.  They’ve really risen up as a force to be reckoned with – something we already knew, but it’s really been affirmed in Trentino – and they will indisputably be the team to watch when the Giro d’Italia kicks off on May 6th.

Sam Bewley will line up for Orica GreenEDGE who look to be putting their cards in the basket of the talented young 26 year old Colombian Esteban Chaves.  Last year he shot to prominence in the Vuelta a Espana, spending six days in the leader’s red jersey as well as winning two stages in a performance that was quite simply sublime from the comparatively little known rider.  He’s an exciting rider to watch and provides a dynamic that the team hasn’t really had to the same extent in years gone by; a serious GC contender.

Sam’s workload will be a big one as he looks to steer Chaves away from trouble and do the brunt of the work to protect him and position him right where he needs to be at the race’s most crucial points.  But Bewley’s services will also be called upon for the race’s flat stages, where he and the team will look to try and secure a second Grand Tour career stage win for the 21 year old pocket rocket Caleb Ewan.

Ewan has been out of race action since Tirreno-Adriatico but is set to race the Tour de Yorkshire before the Giro.  The sprinter’s unique style and powerful kick have gotten the better of a number of other riders this season, with Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo all arriving home behind Ewan’s disappearing rear wheel.  How will he fare against the likes of Arnaud Demare who won Milan-San Remo this year, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel who need no introduction.

Also in the long list for the Giro are Australians Michael Hepburn and Damien Howson, sprinter Luka Mezgec from Slovenia, Spaniards Ruben Plaza and Amets Txurruka, and Canadian Svein Tuft who at 38 years of age will arrive as one of the oldest in the race.

General classification contenders are numerous.  While Nibali is our favourite there will be fierce competition from Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde who has just celebrated his fourth Fleche Wallonne triumph.  GIANT-Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin will look to better his sixth overall in the Vuelta last year, and this course certainly is one that suits him in a big way with three individual time trials to take on over the 21 stages.  Rafal Majka of Tinkoff will be an interesting one to watch, but he hasn’t raced since Paris-Nice in March.  However, he will race Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour de Romandie in preparation for the Giro.

2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal of Trek-Segafredo is another unknown quantity in many ways, especially as he hasn’t really had an opportunity to shine as a GC contender in races this year; either in the Tour of Catalunya or the Santos Tour Down Under, the only stage races he has completed this season.  He played an extremely aggressive role in the Giro last year and came away with 5th overall last year and was unlucky not to win a stage of the race.  Also keep an eye open for Mikel Landa of Team Sky as he moves out of the shadows of Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali at Astana and gets set to establish himself as more of a team lead at Team Sky.

A full provisional start list can be seen below:

AG2R La Mondiale

1

Domenico Pozzovivo ITA

2

Guillaume Bonnafond FRA

3

Axel Domont FRA

4

Hubert Dupont FRA

5

Patrick Gretsch GER

6

Hugo Houle CAN

7

Blel Kadri FRA

8

Matteo Montaguti ITA

9

Jean-Christophe Peraud FRA
Astana Pro Team

11

Vincenzo Nibali ITA

12

Valerio Agnoli ITA

13

Eros Capecchi ITA

14

Jakob Fuglsang DEN

15

Tanel Kangert EST

16

Bakytiyar Kozhatayev KAZ

17

Davide Malacarne ITA

18

Michele Scarponi ITA

19

Andrey Zeits KAZ
Bardiani-CSF

21

Stefano Pirazzi ITA

22

Simone Andreetta ITA

23

Enrico Barbin ITA

24

Nicola Boem ITA

25

Francesco Manuel Bongiorno ITA

26

Guilio Ciccone ITA

27

Sonny Colbrelli ITA

28

Mirco Maestri ITA

29

Nicola Ruffoni ITA
BMC Racing

31

Philippe Gilbert BEL

32

John Darwin Atapuma COL

33

Alessandro De Marchi ITA

34

Silvan Dillier SWI

35

Stefan Kung SWI

36

Daniel Oss ITA

37

Manuel Quinziato ITA

38

Joey Rosskopf USA

39

Rick Zabel GER
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team

41

Rigoberto Uran COL

42

Andre Cardoso POR

43

Simon Clarke AUS

44

Joe Dombrowski USA

45

Davide Formolo ITA

46

Moreno Moser ITA

47

Ramunas Navardauskas LTU

48

Davide Villella ITA

49

Michael Woods CAN
Dimension Data

51

Igor Anton ESP

52

Omar Fraille ESP

53

Nathan Haas AUS

54

Merhawi Kudus ERI

55

Kristian Sbaragli ITA

56

Kanstantsin Siutsou BLR

57

Jay Robert Thomson RSA

58

Johann Van Zyl RSA

59

Jaco Venter RSA
Etixx-Quick Step

61

Bob Jungels LUX

62

Gianluca Brambilla ITA

63

David De La Cruz ESP

64

Marcel Kittel GER

65

Fabio Sabatini ITA

66

Pieter Serry BEL

67

Matteo Trentin ITA

68

Carlos Verona ESP

69

Lukasz Wiśniowski POL
FDJ

71

Arnaud Démare FRA

72

Arnaud Courteille FRA

73

Mickaël Delage FRA

74

Murilo Antonio Fischer BRA

75

Alexandre Geniez FRA

76

Ignatas Konovalovas LTU

77

Oliver Le Gac FRA

78

Cédric Pineau FRA

79

Benoit Vaugrenard FRA
Gazprom-RusVelo

81

Alexandr Kolobnev RUS

82

Ildar Arslanov RUS

83

Artur Ershov RUS

84

Sergey Firsanov RUS

85

Alexander Foliforov RUS

86

Artem Ovechkin RUS

87

Ivan Savitskiy RUS

88

Alexander Serov RUS

89

Andrei Solomennikov RUS
IAM Cycling

91

Matteo Pelucchi ITA

92

Matthias Brändle AUT

93

Heinrich Haussler AUS

94

Leigh Howard AUS

95

Roger Kluge GER

96

David Tanner AUS

97

Larry Warbasse USA

98

Marcel Wyss SWI

99

Oliver Zaugg SWI
Lampre-Merida

100

Diego Ulissi ITA

101

Valerio Conti ITA

102

Roberto Ferrari ITA

103

Ilia Koshevoy BLR

104

Sacha Modolo ITA

105

Matej Mohoric SLO

106

Manuele Mori ITA

107

Przemyslaw Niemiec POL

109

Simone Petilli ITA
Lotto Soudal

111

Tim Wellens BEL

112

Lars Ytting Bak DEN

113

Sean De Bie BEL

114

André Greipel GER

115

Adam Hansen AUS

116

Pim Lithgart NED

117

Maxime Monfort BEL

118

Jurgen Roelandts BEL

119

Jelle Vanendert BEL
Movistar Team

121

Alejandro Valverde ESP

122

Andrey Amador CSR

123

Alex Dowsett GBR

124

José Herrada ESP

125

Javier Moreno ESP

126

José Joaquín Rojas ESP

127

Rory Sutherland AUS

128

Jasha Sütterlin GER

129

Giovanni Visconti ITA
Nippo-Vini Fantini

131

Damiano Cunego ITA

132

Giacomo Berlato ITA

133

Alessandro Bisolti ITA

134

Grega Bole SLO

135

Pier Paolo De Negri ITA

136

Iuri Filosi ITA

137

Eduard Michael Grosu ROM

138

Kazushige Kuboki JPN

139

Gianfranco Zilioli ITA
Orica GreenEDGE

141

Esteban Chaves COL

142

Sam Bewley NZ

143

Caleb Ewan AUS

144

Michael Hepburn AUS

145

Damien Howson AUS

146

Luka Mezgec SLO

147

Ruben Plaza ESP

148

Svein Tuft CAN

149

Amets Txurruka ESP
Team GIANT-Alpecin

151

Tom Dumoulin NED

152

Nikias Arndt GER

153

Bert De Backer BEL

154

Chad Haga USA

155

Cheng Ji CHN

156

Fredrik Ludvigsson SWE

157

Georg Preidler AUT

158

Tom Stamsnijder NED

159

Albert Timmer NED
Team Katusha

161

Rein Taaramäe EST

162

Maxim Belkov RUS

163

Pavel Kochetkov RUS

164

Viacheslav Kuznetsov RUS

165

Sergey Lagutin RUS

166

Alexander Porsev RUS

167

Egor Silin RUS

168

Alexey Tsatevich RUS

169

Ilnur Zakarin RUS
Team LottoNL-Jumbo

171

Steven Kruijswijk NED

172

Enrico Battaglin ITA

173

Victor Campenaerts BEL

174

Twan Castelijns NED

175

Martijn Keizer NED

176

Primož Roglič SLO

177

Bram Tankink NED

178

Maarten Tjallingii NED

179

Jos Van Emden NED
Team Sky

181

Mikel Landa ESP

182

Ian Boswell USA

183

Philip Deignan IRE

184

Sebastián Henao COL

185

Sergio Luis Henao COL

186

Christian Knees GER

187

David Lopez ESP

188

Nicolas Roche IRE

189

Elia Viviani ITA
Tinkoff

191

Rafal Majka POL

192

Manuele Boaro ITA

193

Pavel Brutt RUS

194

Jesús Hernández ESP

195

Jay McCarthy AUS

196

Pawel Poljanski POL

197

Ivan Rovny RUS

198

Evgeni Petrov RUS

199

Matteo Tosatto ITA
Trek-Segafredo

201

Ryder Hesjedal CAN

202

Eugenio Alafaci ITA

203

Jack Bobridge AUS

204

Fabian Cancellara SWI

205

Marco Coledan ITA

206

Laurent Didier LUX

207

Giacomo Nizzolo ITA

208

Boy van Poppel NED

209

Riccardo Zoidl AUT
Southeast-Venezuela

211

Filippo Pozzato ITA

212

Julen Amezqueta ESP

213

Manuel Belletti ITA

214

Liam Bertazzo ITA

215

Matteo Busato ITA

216

Samuele Conti ITA

217

Jakub Mareczko ITA

218

Daniel Felipe Martinez COL

219

Enrique Sanz ESP

 

 

Photo: Sirotti

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