Paris - Italian climber Vincenzo Nibali was named at the head of the Astana Giro d'Italia team on Monday and is hot favourite to clinch a second title after his 2013 win.
The 31-year-old is one of the rare riders to have won the Tour de France (2014), Giro d'Italia and Tour of Spain (2010) and pundits feel the man who suffered a dip in form last season is back to his best for the race which starts on Friday.
To help him over the hills are compatriot Valerio Agnoli, Estonian Tanel Kangert and the Kazakh Andrey Zeits, who were all on the successful 2013 edition.
Other strong riders in the Astana line up are Italian Michele Scarponi, who won the Giro himself in 2011, and the powerful Dane Jakob Fuglsang.
Astana team for the Giro:
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Tanel Kangert (EST), Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (KAZ), Davide Malacarne (ITA), Michele Scarponi (ITA), Andrey Zeits (KAZ)