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Megan Armitage is on her way to the start line of the first Grand Tour of her career a year after losing her Tour de France shot due to a crash (Photo: Toby Watson)

Megan Armitage may have missed out on a Tour de France appearance last year in cruel circumstances but the Irish rider will finally get to start a Grand Tour this weekend when she lines out as part of the EF Education-Cannondale team at the Giro d’Italia.

The eight-stage race gets underway tomorrow, Sunday, in Brescia with a 15.7km individual TT, with Armitage part of a strong team selection with a mix of Grand Tour debutants and veterans.

“This is not only my first Giro but also my first Grand Tour. I’m excited but also a little nervous,” Ireland’s Armitage said on the eve of the biggest race of her career to date by far.

“For me, my expectations are to do my role to the best of my ability and to help the team in whatever way I can for us to get the best possible result in the general classification. It will be a great learning opportunity for me and I hope to gain some confidence in myself.

“It’s a quick turnaround from racing Thüringen last week to the Giro but I hope those six hard days of racing in Germany, as well as some rest in between, will have me coming into the Giro nice and ready.”

The queen stage finishes atop Blockhaus, which will bring to an end the 120km stage 7 and should decide the general classification.

As well as Armitage, the EF Education-Cannondale team is comprised of Letizia Borghesi, Kim Cadzow, Clara Emond, Nina Kessler, Clara Koppenburg, and Magdeleine Vallieres.

The team said the riders will be looking for stage win opportunities, though they will also stay focused on the general classification through the eight stages.

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