Wednesday 7 December 2016

Roche and Deignan make Sky team for Giro

Published 04/05/2016 | 02:30

Philip Deignan (SPORTSFILE)
Philip Deignan (SPORTSFILE)

Ireland's Philip Deignan and Nicolas Roche will ride the Giro d'Italia for Team Sky, but there will be no British rider in the Grand Tour for a second successive year.

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Deignan and Roche will ride as support for their Spanish team leader Mikel Landa in this year's Italian adventure, which begins in Apeldoorn, Holland with a 9.8-kilometres time-trial on Friday.

Roche's cousin, Dan Martin, has been omitted from the Etixx-Quickstep team, but the 29-year old is expected to focus on the Tour de France this July.

Alex Dowsett had been expected to start for Movistar, but the time-trial specialist has undergone surgery to remove a plate and screws on his collarbone.

Team Sky have eight Britons on their 29-rider roster, but none are in the squad for the Giro, which finishes in Turin on May 29.

Deignan is tackling his first big tour since the Vuelta in 2014.

Landa and Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are the favourites for the pink jersey. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), the winners in each of the last two years, do not start as July's Tour de France is their priority.

Meanwhile, world female champion Lizzie Armitstead has signed a two-year contract extension with Boels-Dolmans as she steps up her preparations for the Rio Olympics - thereby ending talk of early retirement.

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