Van der Poel and PFP star in Belgium; Kittel’s Katusha kit: Daily News Digest

by Matt de Neef

December 11, 2017

In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van der Poel and Cant win in Essen; Van der Poel and Ferrand-Prevot win at Druivencross; Rafal Majka aiming for Tour de France top-five in 2018; Ilnur Zakarin eyeing off Tour podium; Geraint Thomas to consider other offers after 2018; Davide Rebellin to be racing at 50? “Why not? It’s possible”; Albert Timmer retires from pro cycling; Marcel Kittel allowed to wear Katusha kit for team presentation; Updated kit for Canyon-SRAM in 2018; Wiggins 21st in indoor rowing debut; Peter Sagan’s message to the people of California.

Ilnur Zakarin eyeing off Tour podium

by CyclingTips

Meanwhile over at Katusha-Alpecin, Ilnur Zakarin has his sights set on the Tour de France as well. The Russian was fifth at the Giro d’Italia and third at the Vuelta a Espana this year, but in 2018 he’ll turn his attention to a strong GC finish at the world’s biggest race.

“I’ve not decided with regards to the Giro d’Italia but for sure I’ll do the Tour de France as the GC leader,” Zakarin told Cyclingnews at Katusha’s team camp in Mallorca. “I might still do the Giro or the Vuelta a Espana but 2018 is going to be about targeting the Tour de France. I think I can do top-five or even the podium in July.

“I think that I’m ready and I’m really going to try. I’ve done the Giro and the Vuelta as the leader, and now it’s time to do the Tour.”

Zakarin has only raced the Tour once, in 2016. He finished 25th that year but won a mountain stage along the way. He knows that, to be competitive at the Tour, he’ll need to improve his descending.

“If I rate myself on it then I’m a four out of 10 on descents,” he said. “I don’t know why that is but the problem was in my head. Maybe it was from my crash at the Giro in 2016 but next year I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I don’t need a lot of support but I need to be strong in the head. I know that it’s a problem but I can fix it.”

Follow the link to read more at Cyclingnews.