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Irish rider Eddie Dunbar named in Team Ineos squad for Giro D'Italia

‘Given his recent performances, it is well deserved,’ team principal Dave Brailsford said of the 22-year-old’s inclusion.

Eddie Dunbar (centre) will take part in his first Grand Tour this weekend.
Eddie Dunbar (centre) will take part in his first Grand Tour this weekend.

IRELAND’S EDDIE DUNBAR will ride in his first ever Grand Tour after being included in the Team Ineos line-up for this weekend’s Giro D’Italia.

In the absence of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, the team, formerly known as Team Sky, will be led by up-and-coming riders Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov.

Dunbar comes into the team after Egan Bernal was ruled out with a broken collarbone suffered in training last week.

He joins Sebastian Henao, Christian Knees, Jhonatan Narvaez, Salvatore Puccio and Ivan Sosa.

The team’s first Grand Tour since Sky’s departure sees their youngest line-up for one of cycling’s three headline events – the average age of the eight-man team is 25 – head to Italy this week.

“Egan’s injury is a real shame as he was to lead the team in a Grand Tour for the first time,” Team principal Dave Brailsford said.

“However, I’m sure he will be fighting fit come July.

Eddie will now come into the team for his first Giro and, given his recent performances, it is well deserved.”

Defending champion Froome and Tour de France winner Thomas are skipping the race to prioritise the battle for the yellow jersey.

Geoghegan Hart, 24, and Pavel Sivakov, 21, will thus get the opportunity to take on a leading role on the big stage, having only made their Grand Tour bows at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.

Eddie Dunbar before the race Ireland's Eddie Dunbar during his time with Team Aquablue. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Sivakov won the Tour of the Alps in April, with Hart taking the second step on the podium ahead of Vincenzo Nibali despite winning two of the five stages.

“Over the last two seasons, we have been bringing together a carefully selected group of young riders who we believe to be the future of our team,” Brailsford added.

“While very much in the learning and development phase of their careers, we have nevertheless already seen them taking great strides forwards this year with Egan, Pavel and Chris Lawless all winning stage races and Tao, Ivan, Jhonatan, Sebastian and Eddie all riding exceptionally well.

With this developmental goal in mind, we have chosen to field our youngest ever team for a Grand Tour and it’s fitting it should be our first one as Team Ineos.”

This year’s opening Grand Tour begins on Saturday 10 May in Bologna and runs until 2 June.

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