Lotto Belisol: Preview Giro, Francis De Greef
Lotto Belisol rider Francis De Greef will participate in the Giro d’Italia for the sixth time. In the previous edition he became 19th, this year he wants to get the same result. This morning he boarded the plane to Napoli together with the eight others. After they have arrived they plan to take a tour on their bikes. Tomorrow is the general anti-doping test and Friday the teams are presented one by one. Saturday the hard work can begin.
Francis De Greef: “The Giro is a tough race, the mountains are very steep. It’s a race that suits me, it’s less nervous than the Tour. The riders that start are often the same, like Ryder Hesjedal, Vincenzo Nibali and Bradley Wiggins. But there are less crashes and less stress. After all those years I know the ins and outs of the Giro, it feels like coming home.”
“It’s difficult to tell where you’ll be at the end of those three weeks, you also have to be a bit lucky. The participants are stronger than in 2012. If I can get the same result, it would be great and every place I am higher in the ranking will make me even more satisfied. My plan is to attack more, to be more aggressive. I have a good feeling when riding uphill. In the Tour de Romandie I was able to assist Van den Broeck really well.”
Francis doesn’t only want to race more aggressive to get a good place in the GC, but he also dreams of winning a stage in this Giro. De Greef also tells us about his strong and less strong points to battle for a good place in the GC.
Francis De Greef: “My regularity is my strength, every year I proved that I gain places in the GC throughout the final week. I always have to get into a Grand Tour at first, but afterwards it all goes well. I recuperate very well, so at the end of a stage race I am better. Time trials aren’t my strongest point. We’ll definitely do a recon of the team time trial, it’s pretty technical and hard because of the climb. In the flat time trial the first week, I have to make sure I don’t lose too much time and also in the climb time trial I’ll give everything.”
“I actually hope to win a stage, then I would be happy for the rest of the Giro and I’d see how it would end. Of course the others have to let you go and the past few years that was difficult in this race, because most of the time the escapees get caught because there always is one team that wants to defend its interests. That doesn’t make it easy to stay in front, but I’ll definitely try.”