Team BikeExchange-Jayco women head to Italy with an array of options ready to take their chances at the prestigious 10-day Giro d’Italia Donne, which starts this Thursday, 30th in Sardinia.
The squad will have a number of cards to play throughout the tour, with the team looking to take their opportunities on each and every stage, as well as taking on the general classification.
Two-time podium finisher and stage winner Amanda Spratt will lead the GC charge, as the experienced 34-year-old lines-up for her 11th appearance and continues her impressive comeback from iliac artery surgery. The Australian will be joined by two-time top-10 finisher Ane Santesteban, giving the squad strong options on the climbs.
American Kristen Faulkner will line-up for her first ever appearance at the Giro d’Italia Donne, and comes in in fine form, fresh off a stage win and second overall at the Tour de Suisse. Also making her Giro debut will be fast finishing Australian Georgia Baker with an open card to try for her own success.
Nina Kessler will provide valuable experience in her third appearance, along with recently crowned Trinidad and Tobago road race and time trial champion, Teniel Campbell, who is set to play a key domestique role for her teammates in her new national champion’s jersey.
The 2022 edition of the race will begin on the island of Sardinia with a short 4.7km prologue, followed by two stages that skirt along the coastline. The riders will then have a rest day as they transfer to the mainland, ready for the fourth day of racing in Emilia Romagna. From then, the race will travel through Lombardy before the riders hit the Alps and the Dolomites, where the general classification should be decided.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Georgia Baker (AUS) – Debut appearance
Teniel Campbell (TTO) – 2nd appearance
Kristen Faulkner (USA) – Debut appearance
Nina Kessler (NED) – 3rd appearance
Ane Santesteban (ESP) – 10th appearance
Amanda Spratt (AUS) – 11th appearance
Brent Copeland – General Manager
“We’re excited to be going back to the Giro Donne once again, it’s a special event and the longest-running stage race on the women’s calendar. As a team we’ve had lots of success at this race in the past, and of course we are aiming for more again this year.
The women have been in great form in recent weeks, and I know it must have been hard to narrow the squad down to just six riders, but we are all confident in the team selection the technical staff have made, and we go into the race with big ambitions.
This is the start of a busy and historic month for women’s cycling with the Tour de France Femmes also just a few weeks away, and we can’t wait to kick things off at the Giro Donne on Thursday!”
Martin Vestby – Head Sport Director
“We have a very strong and competitive team that can compete for victory on every stage. Starting with the Cagliari prologue where both Georgia Baker and Kristen Faulkner should be able to fight for the win after what they showed at the Tour de Suisse recently.
The three mountain stages will be decisive for the general classification, but it will be necessary to pay attention on all stages. There are some classic stages that will not decide the overall winner, but they can decide who will no longer be in contention in the general classification.
With Spratt coming back stronger and stronger, we should have some expectations for the GC. Georgia is in good condition and will certainly have opportunities to try and bring home a good result too. This will be the first time Kristen has started a 10-day stage race and her support role will be important for Amanda, but at the same time she will have some opportunities of her own.”
Amanda Spratt – 3rd overall in 2018 & 19
“I’ve had a good training block at altitude in Livigno and I think it was good to just stop racing for a while and be able to build up the strength and fitness again and really focus on some key demands that we will face in the Giro. It’s definitely a hard Giro, and we see that the hardest stages all come together late in the race, especially stages 7-9, with multiple hard climbs. This is quite different to the last couple of years, but I would say overall it’s a course that excites me a lot!
My personal goal is to aim for a high GC result. I don’t think we can put a number on that, and we also have to be realistic with where I’m coming back from after my artery operation. So far this year I’ve made steady progress, but I will take it day-by-day and aim to be at my best for the hardest stages. I want to be up there fighting with everything I have and not have any regrets.
We take a really strong team to the Giro, so I am confident we can start with different goals and I’m also looking forward to seeing my teammates take opportunities too. We are on a roll at the moment, and it’s been great to see the momentum building in the last races like Britain and Suisse. I think we will be able to use our numbers and our biggest strength will be how we can race together and back each other up.”
2022 Giro d’Italia Donne – Stages Details:
Thursday, 30th June, Stage 1: Cagliari-Cagliari, 4.7 ITT
Friday, 1st July, Stage 2: Villasimius-Tortolì, 113km
Saturday, 2nd July, Stage 3: Cala Gonone – Olbia, 120km
Sunday, 3rd July, Rest Day
Monday, 4th July, Stage 4: Cesena-Cesena, 120km
Tuesday, 5th July, Stage 5: Carpi-Reggio Emilia, 126km
Wednesday, 6th July, Stage 6: Sarnico-Bergamo, 114km
Thursday, 7th July, Stage 7: Prevalle-Passo del Maniva, 113km
Friday, 8th July, Stage 8: Rovereto-Aldeno, 104km
Saturday, 9th July, Stage 9: San Michele all’Adige-San Lorenzo Dorsino, 112km
Sunday, 10th July, Stage 10: Abano Terme-Padova, 90km