BURY’S Simon Yates is targeting overall victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The 28-year-old will lead Team BikeExchange’s hopes in the race, which begins in Turin on Saturday and finishes in Milan on May 30.

Yates spent 13 days in the leader’s Maglia Rosa in 2018 and finished eighth in 2019, while last year he was among the favourites to win but had to withdraw at the end of the first week after testing positive for Covid.

Yates, who won his first Grand Tour title at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018, said: “The Giro d’Italia is a race that I really enjoy.

“I hope this year I can have a clear run and a good go at fighting for the win, and we have a very strong team to try to do that.

“I like so many things about the Giro; the parcours, the food, the fans.

“I really enjoy racing in Italy, it is a great place to be a bike racer.

“This year the route looks very hard. Of course there are some differences to the previous years that I have raced at the Giro d’Italia.

“It is bookended with two time trials and time trials are not my speciality, so we will try to limit the losses there.

“The team we have for the race is most of the team that we had at the Tour of the Alps and we really gelled well together there.

“We have been working very well and everybody is just looking forward to getting the race started now.”

Yates, who will be supported in the mountains by Spaniard Mikel Nieve and Estonian Tanel Kangert, recently won the Tour of the Alps in Austria and Italy.

“There’s no surprise that we have put a lot of effort into preparing for this year’s Giro d’Italia, Simon is one of the favourites going into the race and we are relishing the challenge,” said Team BikeExchange’s head sport director Matt White.

“We have built a team around him which has a very good balance of experience and youth and I know the entire team is excited about going up against the best riders in the world as we support our leader to the maximum in this year’s edition.”

Simon’s twin brother Adam is not part of the Ineos Grenadiers team at the race, his boss Sir Dave Brailsford having identified him as a team leader for the Vuelta Espana in August and September.