• Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves at the 2018 Paris-Nice (Getty)Source: Getty
“We are not the favourites, but we have two guys who are going to challenge the favourites.”
Cycling Central

27 Apr 2018 - 10:23 AM  UPDATED 27 Apr 2018 - 10:27 AM

Director Matt White said Mitchelton-Scott will target the Giro d'Italia GC despite the team's underdog status.

"We are making no secret that our focus for the Giro d’Italia is on the general classification and Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves are our leaders," White said.

"They have worked really well in the past in these roles and we’re expecting the same again. 

“We are not the favourites, but we have two guys who are going to challenge the favourites whenever the opportunity arises.”

“On paper we have a really good team, everyone is arriving into the shape they need to be in at the right time."

“It’s quite a interesting course because although the first indication of the overall will come early on stage six on Mt Etna, besides the last week with stages 18-20, there is not more than two days in a row of ‘effort’ for the general classification riders. It’s sporadic and this will make for aggressive racing throughout.”

"This year we have a really good team," Chaves said. "We are looking to be competitive and do the best we can, like always.”

The 2018 Giro d'Italia will be Simon Yates' first. 

“I’m really looking forward to starting the Giro d’Italia this year for the first time," Yates said. "A last-minute change of program meant I was unable to debut as planned last year so we decided to give it a try again this season."

“Even without having raced before it’s clear the Giro is one of, if not the most difficult and demanding race on the calendar."

“Here at the Giro I think we have assembled one of the best teams we can for a Grand Tour and I’m excited to join up with the boys, and as a team achieve the best possible result.”

The team heads to the Giro's Jerusalem start next Friday with a roster ready for climbing and the aggressive route. Aussie Jack Haig and Czech Roman Kreuziger are both fresh from heavily animating the Ardennes classics; Kreuziger stood on the podium at Amstel Gold, his 'worst' Ardennes place eighth at Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Haig's best, an impressive 14th at Liège.

Sky recruit Mikel Nieve will also line up for the team as a valuable domestique, his first race this season coming at Liège after a training crash that saw him miss the first part of the season. 

Mitchelton-Scott stalwarts Svein Tuft, Chris Juul-Jensen and Sam Bewley will also be there to support Chaves and Yates through the flatter parts of the three week grand tour. 

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