Our team for the Corsa Rosa (3-25 October) will be a mixture of youth and experience.

A hard opening weekend in Sicily, three individual time trials (one of which is scheduled in Milan, on the final day), and some iconic climbs, such as Monte Bondone, Madonna di Campiglio, Passo dello Stelvio, Colle dell’Agnello, Col d’Izoard or Sestriere – all these will make up the parcours of the 103rd Giro d’Italia, which our team will tackle with eight strong riders, all motivated to add to the team’s remarkable tally at the race.

His first season in the World Tour has been more than just a learning experience for João Almeida, who finished on the overall podium at Vuelta a Burgos and Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, as well as coming close to a resounding victory at the Giro dell’Emilia. Now, the young Portuguese all-rounder will be at the start of his first three-week race – one of Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s two Grand Tour debutants, alongside Alvaro Hodeg, the Colombian speedster who posted a series of solid results in bunch sprints this year.

Victorious on the final stage of the Tour de Pologne and runner-up at the Italian Championships, Davide Ballerini returns at the Corsa Rosa after two years, together with countryman Fausto Masnada, who impressed just a couple of weeks ago at Tirreno-Adriatico. Another rider to stand out at the “Race of the Two Seas”, James Knox will also be on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s squad for the season’s second Grand Tour, which will be rounded out by Mikkel Honoré, 2015 stage winner Iljo Keisse and Pieter Serry.

“We are looking forward to this Giro d’Italia, an unusual one taking place so late in the season. The start is going to be very hard, with many tricky and complicated stages, where it will be important to remain attentive. We have many young riders on the team and we won’t put any pressure on them, just take it day by day, see what happens and go for a stage win, which is our main goal at the race”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.

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