The Brits to watch

 

Sir Bradley Wiggins
Age: 33
Team: Team Sky
Giro d’Italia record: 2010 - stage 1 individual time trial winner, 40th overall; 2009 – 71st overall; 2008 – 134th overall; 2005 – 123rd overall.

After the heights of 2012, in which Wiggins made history with his Tour de France victory, the Team Sky rider is setting out to become the first British rider to win the Corsa Rosa.

Team Sky’s nine-man squad is built around Wiggins and the goal of the maglia rosa, though the four-time Olympic champion has embarked on a different build-up to that which prepared him so well for the Tour.

The Tour of Oman, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino have replaced Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie with Team Sky Head of Performance Tim Kerrison putting together a programme that accounts for the differences in the two Grand Tours and should ensure Wiggins is a key contender to be in pink when the riders arrive in Brescia.

Sir Bradley Wiggins

   

Mark Cavendish
Age: 27
Team: Omega Pharm-Quick Step
Giro d’Italia history: 2012 - stages 2, 5 and 13 winner; 2011 – stages 1 (TTT), 10 and 12 winner; 2009 - stages 1 (TTT), 9, 11 and 13 winner; 2008 – stages 4 and 13 winner.

With a team dedicated to his cause, Cavendish is well set to add the only points jersey missing from his Grand Tour collection.

Victory in the points classification in the 2010 Vuelta a España, backed up by becoming the first Briton to win the green jersey in the Tour de France in 2011, places Cavendish on the cusp of an exclusive group.

The former Team Sky rider would join only four riders who have achieved wins in the points classifications of all three Grand Tours - Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Laurent Jalabert, Eddy Merckx and Alessandro Petacchi – if he could take the maglia rosso passion.

And stage one’s flat profile could see Cavendish in the maglia rosa if the expected bunch sprint unfolds.

Mark Cavendish
   

Alex Dowsett
Age: 24
Team: Movistar
Giro d’Italia history: 2013 Giro d’Italia will be first Grand Tour

The British time-trial champion, who signed from Team Sky, will be instrumental for Movistar’s team time trial aspirations on day two of the Giro with a two further individual time trials for Dowsett to examine himself against. 

Four years after making his debut with Trek-LiveStrong, an appearance in Italy is an apt reward for the 24-year-old who suffered a broken elbow in the Three Days of De Panne which ruled him out for the vast part of 2012.

Supporting team leaders Juanjo Cobo and Beñat Intxausti will take a significant part of Dowsett’s resource but in the time trials on stage eight’s Gabicce Mare to Saltara and stage 18’s Mori to Polsa, he can savour his forte in Italy.

Alex Dowsett
   

Steve Cummings 
Age: 32
Team: BMC Racing
Giro d’Italia history: 2010 - 55th overall; 2008 - 96th overall; 2007 - 109th overall.

A varied 2012 ended on a high for Cummings when at the Vuelta a España, he soloed to his first Grand Tour victory on stage 13 in a popular victory for the domestique.

Earlier he had acted as part of the BMC team helping defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and he will perform a similar role in Italy, with Evans and Amercian Taylor Phinney named leaders by BMC.

Adding to his Grand Tour stage win tally isn’t beyond the former track world champion though it will be at the discretion of the team’s wider objectives if he is allowed to pursue such a goal.

Steve Cummings
   

Adam Blyth
Age: 23
Team: BMC Racing
Giro d’Italia history: 2011 - DNF; 2010 - DNF.

A third Giro d’Italia for the former Omega Pharma-Lotto rider, Blythe has four top-five finishes this season including being part of team time trial winning squad at the Tour of Qatar.

Wins at Binche-Tournai-Binche and the opening stage of Paris-Corrèze highlighted the progression the Sheffield born rider is making and finishing this year’s Giro would be another step in that direction.

Adam Blythe
   

David Millar
Age: 36
Team: Garmin-Sharp
Giro d’Italia history:  2011 – stage 21 (ITT) winner; 2008 – stage 1 (TTT) winner

With two stage wins to his name, Millar will be an integral part of Giro defending champion Ryder Hesjedal’s entourage, having captained Team GB's road squad at the London 2012 Games.

With two Giro stage wins to his name - in the team time trial in 2008 and 2011’s individual time trial on stage 21 - Millar is capable of solo triumphs as he demonstrated in last year’s Tour when he won stage 12 from a break of four, eventually beating Annonay-Davézieux.

David Millar