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by Shane Stokes
May 4, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Six years after her brother Wouter’s passing, Elke Weylandt shares views on Giro’s descending competition; Giro d’Italia abandons controversial descending competition; Kelly: Quintana is the man to beat for Giro, and could double up at the Tour; Nibali: ‘It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium’; Dumoulin: ‘Winning the Giro is normally out of reach’; Pozzovivo talks up difficulty of Giro d’Italia; In ‘best shape’ for years, Hansen ready for 17th consecutive Grand Tour; Greipel eyeing Maglia Rosa, but also says Classics could delay top sprint form; Rumsas’ son passed away 24 hours after being released from hospital; McLaren says he’s been threatened over doping report; Cyclist dies after hitting parked car in Melbourne; Video: A sort of homecoming – Adam Blythe at #TDY2017; Video: 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Ostend preview; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic preview
With a sprint stage getting the Giro d’Italia underway on Friday, Hansen’s Lotto-Soudal teammate André Greipel believes there is a chance of capturing pink. He’s taking nothing for granted, but also recognises the opportunity that this year’s course presents.
“I wouldn’t say no to wearing the first Maglia Rosa of the 100th Giro. Of course we need to be realistic: winning one stage in a Grand Tour is already a huge performance. We will try to win one stage with the team during the hundredth Giro. My teammates will also have individual chances.”
Greipel took three stages last year. With six sprint stages on offer this time around he could certainly add to that, but also says there is a chance he will take time to get going.
“It was a hard spring for me, with a lot of stage races: Abu Dhabi Tour, Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and a few Cobblestone Classics,” he said. “I took some rest after Paris-Roubaix, to recover physically and mentally. I started training again after one week. Maybe I will need some days to get used to the race rhythm again, like I did last year. The first weekend was not so successful last Giro, but after a few days I got better and better with three stage wins as a result.”
As regards finishing the race, he readily admits that he might withdraw before the end. He points to a difficult final week and also the need to pursue other goals – most likely the Tour de France – and thus not go too deep. “There is a chance that I quit the Giro before we get to Milan. Of course we prefer participating in such a fantastic race like the Giro to a different programme.”