Britain's Simon Yates has confirmed his return to the Giro d’Italia for the fourth year in a row as he looks to grab the elusive pink jersey in May.
The Team BikeExchange rider imploded spectacularly from the lead in 2018, allowing Chris Froome to swoop in for the maglia rosa, and then failed to deliver a year later after saying his rivals should be "s****ing themselves".
He withdrew from last year’s Giro after Stage eight following a positive Covid-19 test.
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Following the announcement of the full Giro route on Wednesday, Yates says he is ready to tackle the 2021 edition and is bidding to win it.
“The 2021 Giro route looks really nice, there’s a good mix of stages and there’s even some gravel roads thrown in for good measure,” Yates said.
As always with the Giro, the final week looks hard and with only a small amount of time trial kilometres I think that is where the race will be decided.
He added: “The last two or three years haven’t gone as I would have hoped with a combination of bad luck and some mistakes along the way.
“All I hope for is to have a clean run in 2021 without these things and that I can show myself in the best way possible.
“I remember watching the gravel stage from the 2010 Giro d’Italia and I expect a similar battle for this year’s race.
“I will start my season at Strade Bianche, which will be the first time at that race for me, in order to gain experience of racing on the white roads and I hope that puts me in good stead for the Giro come May.
“Along with Tirreno Adriatico and the Tour of the Alps, I will have a full Italian programme in the lead up to the big dance and I can’t wait to get started.”
2021 Giro d'Italia route in full - Details of every stage
Team BikeExchange Head Sport Director Matt White said the rider who wins it will have to be an all-rounder.
"It’s a well-balanced Giro route,” he said. “We have a real variety of stages with the epic white roads of Tuscany, some tricky hilltop finishes on dirt and of course the historic, brutal climbs of Northern Italy in the last week.
“The low time trial kilometres are certainly an advantage for the pure climbers, but the rider that wins the 2021 Giro d’Italia will have to be a complete all-round athlete.”
You can watch the 2021 Giro d'Italia live on Eurosport. You can watch every moment on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
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