Team Saxo Bank Reveals Giro d'Italia Roster

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05/3/2012| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
Team Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis has announced the team's line-up for the Giro d'Italia 2012. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Team Saxo Bank owner Bjarne Riis has announced the team's line-up for the Giro d'Italia 2012. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Team Saxo Bank Reveals Giro d'Italia Roster

Team Saxo Bank has announced its line-up for the Giro d'Italia 2012.

Team Saxo Bank has now finalized its roster for the 2012 Giro d'Italia, which will kick off on May 5 in Herning - the hometown of team owner and Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis. The Giro starts with three stages in Denmark before transferring to Italy, concluding in Milan approximately three weeks later.

The team sends its Argentinian sprinter Juan Jose Haedo to the Giro, hoping he will be able to generate success for the Danish team which has faced nothing but big disappointments so far this season.

His brother Lucas Sebastian Haedo and teammates Luke Roberts and Jonas Aaen have been picked by Riis for the team's Giro roster in order to ensure that sufficient support will be available to Juan Jose Haedo in the finish line sprints.

Mads Christensen, Anders Lund and Manuele Boaro have all showed great will to attack in the spring races of the 2012 season and the team intends for them to continue doing so in the Giro d'Italia. Veteran rider Italian Matteo Tosatto will takes on the role as the team's captain on the roads of Denmark and Italy.

Experienced Ukrainian rider Volodymir Gustov has been added to Team Saxo Bank's roster for the Giro d'Italia, replacing Australian David Tanner. Having participated in no less than twenty Grand Tours, 35-years-old Gustov adds valuable experience to the Saxo Bank roster.

Commenting on the replacement of Tanner with Gustov, Team Saxo Bank sports director Bradley McGee told "David bruised his ribs in a crash in Circuit de la Sarthe in April and unfortunately he is still affected by this and doesn't feel he is back to his best, as we had all hoped he would have been. This is of course a huge disappointment for David, but considering the Giro d'Italia would have been his first ever Grand Tour, he, our doctor and the team's sport directors agree that his current condition is not compatible with starting the Giro."

Team Saxo Bank originally intended to have Polish rider Rafal Majka participate in this year's Giro in order to have a contender for the Giro's general classification, while its other GC riders prepare for the 2012 Tour de France, but unfortunately the team reports that Majka has not been able to recover from a knee injury caused by a crash in Tirreno-Adriatico in time for him to be able to start in the Giro.

"This is of course a huge blow for me personally to not be able to take part in the Giro, and right now I'm very disappointed that I can't pursue my biggest goal of this season. But unfortunately there's not a chance I would be fit and able to ride the Giro. So now my focus will be to completely recover from this injury as fast as possible and get back in the saddle to be ready for another challenge," Majka said.

"Unfortunately, injuries and crashes are something you can't really control in cycling, but I feel truly sorry for Rafal. I know he is devastated right now as this was his big goal for the season. Personally I was really looking forward to seeing what he could achieve in the Giro. I believe he could have surprised quite a few people," Riis commented.

"Without a pre-race favorite or a GC contender in our Giro lineup we will have an opportunistic approach to this year's first Grand Tour. We have tried to put together a group of riders who can help and support Juan Jose Haedo in the sprints, but also ride aggressively on their own in intermediate stages. Our goal will be to win a stage, and I have no doubt that these guys will make an impact on the race already in the race's very first stages in Denmark," Riis concluded.

Team Saxo Bank Roster for the 2012 Giro d'Italia:
Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina), Volodymir Gustov (Ukraine), Matteo Tosatto (Italy), Luke Roberts (Australia), Mads Christensen (Denmark), Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Argentina), Jonas Aaen (Denmark), Anders Lund (Denmark), and Manuele Boaro (Italy).

Stay tuned to to watch video highlights from the 2012 Giro d'Italia in our video section (US only) and come back for our complete Giro d'Italia coverage. Be sure to spread the word to your fellow cycling fans around the globe.

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