Israel – Premier Tech is heading to the Giro d’Italia with multiple cards to play, fielding a team with a mix of youth and experience for the first Grand Tour of the season.
The team’s special edition jersey, celebrating Fantini Wines and the Grande Partenza in their home region of Abruzzo, will debut at the first of three individual time trials when racing gets under on May 6.
“We are lining up with at the Giro d’Italia with two main goals; the General Classification with Domenico Pozzovivo and also fighting for a stage win. We have a diverse team featuring riders with a lot of experience on one end and then the team’s youngest guys and Grand Tour debutants on the other,” says Sports Director Oscar Guerrero. “We are not going with a team experienced in supporting a GC leader but we will share the responsibilities between the riders and hopefully Domenico can get a top-ten on GC which he did last year. Of course, fighting for a stage win in the mountains can be another goal for him.”
“Simon Clarke is a proven Grand Tour stage winner and is in great shape so we need to see the stages that really suit him, where he can get into a good breakaway and go for a win. Mads Würtz Schmidt is another rider who is in good shape and is very opportunistic so he will be on the look out for good breakaways and hilly stages where he can fight for the win, and also help on the flatter stages and in the stress of crosswinds to help Domenico.”
With 23 Grand Tour participations to his name, 16 of which were the Giro d’Italia, IPT’s latest addition Domenico Pozzovivo is not lacking experience. Having finished in the General Classification top-ten on seven occasions, 40-year-old Pozzovivo knows what it takes.
“The Giro d’Italia is always the highlight of my season. Even if it will be my 17th participation, every year I have the same great motivation to be at the start. My objective is to be in the top-10, 15 years after my first top 10 of 2008. I only did 10 race days before the Giro, but I think I did enough work during many days in altitude to be in a good shape at the start of the race,” says Pozzovivo.
Simon Clarke, who will not only be on the hunt for success but also take on the team’s road captain role, is excited to return after a two-year break.
“I haven’t raced since 2020 so I’m excited to come back again. It’s a special Giro for our team with the start in Abruzzo, the home of Fantini and it’s not every day that a Grand Tour starts in the region of a team’s partner. As a result, we have designed an amazing jersey to highlight Fantini and I think it’s a super nice jersey and a great gesture from the team. In terms of the race, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve had a good start to the year and I’m motivated to continue that for the month of May. We have some good climbers in the team with Pozzovivo and Riccitello and a few of the other young guys so it should be a good Giro for us,” adds Clarke.
With three neo pros in the line up and half of the team 25-years-old or younger, IPT will line up with one of its youngest ever Grand Tour rosters.
“We have a lot of young guys like Matthew Riccitello, Marco Frigo, Sebastian Berwick, and Stevie Williams,” explains Guerrero. “This is a learning experience and the first Grand Tour for half of them so we need to be smart with selecting good opportunities and also days where they can rest and save their legs for the final week to help Domenico as much as possible. Derek Gee is not one of our youngest neo pros but he is lining up for his first Grand Tour so it will be a new experience for him. But he has a big engine, he’s a good rouleur and a good time trialist, and he can climb so he can have a great Giro d’Italia.”