Philip Deignan and Nicolas Roche to start Giro d’Italia

Opening Grand Tour of 2016 begins in Apeldoorn, Holland with time-trial on Friday

On Sunday Nicolas Roche was edged in the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in Scarborough - finishing six seconds back overall. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

On Sunday Nicolas Roche was edged in the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in Scarborough - finishing six seconds back overall. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

 

Two Irishmen Philip Deignan and Nicolas Roche are slated to start the year’s opening Grand Tour, which begins in Apeldoorn, Holland with a 9.8-kilometres time-trial on Friday.

The Giro d’Italia will take place without a British rider for a second successive year - Alex Dowsett had been expected to start for Movistar, but the Commonwealth Games time-trial champion 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 29th.

Deignan and Roche were on Tuesday named in Team Sky’s nine-man line-up, as support riders to Spaniard Mikel Landa. Dan Martin, third in March’s Volta Catalunya, is not part of the Etixx-Quick-Step line-up.

Landa and 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 this year.

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