Young Irish cyclist Eddie Dunbar looks poised to make his first appearance in a Grand Tour event this month at the Giro d'Italia.
An injury sustained by Egan Bernal means the 22-year-old has received a late call-up to Team Ineos, formerly known as Team Sky, for the race that starts this Saturday in Bologna.
The team was left in limbo after Sky UK decided not to renew their sponsorship of the controversial team ahead of the 2019 season, but the backing of Britain's wealthiest man, Jim Ratcliffe, and his chemicals company, Ineos, sees the Manchester-based team come into the summer as a forced to be reckoned with once again.
The Giro d'Italia will be the first Grand Tour the team will compete in under their new name.
TEAM NEWS: @taogeoghegan & @PavelSivakov will lead @TeamINEOS at the @giroditalia! Here's our full lineup for the first Grand Tour of the season 🇮🇹@EddieDunbar @taogeoghegan @5_henao @ChristianKnees @NarvaezJho @SalvatorePuccio @PavelSivakov @ivansosacuervo
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) May 7, 2019
The decision of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas to focus on the Tour de France this year opened up the door for the Cork man to earn a spot in the peloton.
After racing in the Tour de Yorkshire last week, Dunbar told Cyclingnews that the first big tour of the year was on his radar.
I'd love to go to the Giro. It was a goal of mine at the start of the year. Then I had problems with injury, so I thought that it was out of the question but I've come back strong from injury.
We have to respect that Egan was preparing for this race and he's obviously disappointed. He was going in as one of the favourites and everyone at Team Ineos wishes him a speedy recovery and hopes that he comes back.
Joining Dunbar in the peloton in Italy will be fellow Irishman Conor Dunne. 27-year-old Dunne is a member of the Israel Cycling Academy team.