Rider Quotes: Giro d’Italia Preview
This Friday the first Grand Tour of the season kicks off in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, only a few steps away from the team’s Service Course. The 9.8km opening time trial will be followed by two more stages in Holland before the race moves back home to Italy.
Nikias Arndt (GER)
“The Giro is a tough race, but I like it and it has several opportunities for us as a team. The goal for me is to make the best out of the sprint stages, where I will have some chances already during the first week.
“After the first week of racing it becomes a bit harder and I personally hope that I can get some good results on the tougher sprint stages, where some of the fast guys don’t make it to the finish in the reduced bunch. I am in good shape at the moment and we will take it day by day. I just arrived yesterday and I felt a good spirit within the team. It’s going to be hard but I think that we have what it takes to get some strong results.”
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
“The Giro is very special this year with the start in the Netherlands. Utrecht last year was amazing, it was like riding through a wall of noise. I couldn’t even hear the radio properly and I hope I can get that same feeling again this year.
“The general classification won’t be my target for this year’s edition. I will be focusing primarily on the time trials on stage one and stage nine, as well as the uphill time trial, which should suit me very well. If you want to go for the overall classification in a Grand Tour these days you need specific preparation and have to go to altitude camp.
“I haven’t done the recon of the time trial yet. Tomorrow will be the first time. Last week, in Romandie I only saw the course in the morning of the time trial itself. I did it one time on the bike and once in the car and that was sufficient. I’m confident with this approach.”
Chad Haga (USA)
“I am still not in perfect shape yet, but I am satisfied at the moment. Every race that goes by I get a bit more comfortable. I am able to hold my position better and get my job done without thinking so much about the risk of crashing.
“For this year’s Giro, I would like to get a result at some point and I will take each opportunity as they come. If I can just accomplish everything that I am capable of and hold nothing back I will be happy.
“Of course, it would be amazing if Tom gets the pink jersey. It would be a win first of all for the team and the first for Tom this year. If we get to ride in support of that it would be really great, but it is only one stage out of 21 so they will still be plenty of opportunities to get a result.”
Marc Reef (NED)
“Our target is to go for a stage victory. We’ll have different opportunities in the time trials and the sprint stages. With a strong line-up of riders we will be able to support this in terms of chasing down the breaks and also for the lead-outs. On top of that, we will apply an offensive strategy to aim for stage results from possible breakaways that survive until the end with guys like Tobias, Chad and Georg.”