Sky trust Landa-Thomas axis for Giro bid

Geraint Thomas (File)
Geraint Thomas (File)

Paris - Welshman Geraint Thomas and Spain's Mikel Landa will present a two-pronged challenge to Giro d'Italia pretenders at the May 5-28 centenary race after the British team unveiled its line-up on Friday.

Climber Landa was Sky's sole leader in Italy last year, but pulled out with flu on Stage 10 after leading the overall standings.

"As always, it is a race for the climbers and I think that will suit me. We have a strong team and I'm really looking forward to returning to the Giro with Team Sky," said the 27-year-old Landa, who came third in 2015 with Astana.

Thomas has the experience of guiding a better climber to victory as he did three times at the Tour de France with Chris Froome.

"I can't wait to get there. I know it's going to be a really strong field at the Giro and it will be a tough, unpredictable race," said the 30-year-old who co-led Sky with Landa at the recent Tour of the Alps, which he eventually won.

Sky's team principal Dave Brailsford insisted his team were serious contenders despite the absence of Froome.

"Our focus for the race will be to compete on GC. In Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas we're coming into the race with two key riders who will be trying to achieve that," said Brailsford.

"The 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia is going to be a special race. We want to make sure we are a key player in it and that we go there and make our mark," he said.

Sky's Giro team:

Philip Deignan (IRL), Kenny Elissonde (FRA), Michal Golas (POL), Sebastian Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Mikel Landa (ESP), Salvatore Puccio (ITA), Diego Rosa (ITA), Geraint Thomas (GBR)

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