Pozdnyakov wins stage two of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Tvetcov, Neben take opening time trial at Redlands Bicycle Classic; Bardiani riders Pirazzi and Ruffoni test positive on eve of Giro d’Italia; Quintana: ‘I don’t know if it’s possible to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year’; Thomas: ‘Myself and Landa are not the favourites’; Pinot hoping to shine but says final buildup hasn’t been ideal; Jungels deflects pressure but is ready for Giro; Gaviria names goals for first Grand Tour; Van Damme still waiting to declare intentions about UCI presidency; Tour organisers and others push against Le Pen in French presidential election; Cannondale-Drapac announces team for Hammer Series; Video: Science of Cycling – how to be an elite cyclist; Video: Giro course recap; Video: Climber sprint
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Returning to the event a year after he won the best young rider contest and finish sixth overall, Bob Jungels is motivated to try to take another step.
“Last year I already made a big step,” he said. “The overall victory in a Grand Tour is another big step. I’ve prepared at 100 per cent for the Giro but I wouldn’t count myself as one of the top favourites. I haven’t done as many Grand Tours as someone like Vincenzo Nibali.”
The Luxembourger has worked hard to be ready and has was eighth in the recent Tour de Romandie. He knows that a strong performance in Italy will depend largely on how he handles the mountains.
“Last year’s Giro wasn’t easy, but there’s more climbing this year, and there are more legendary climbs,” he said. “But I’m not scared. That would not be the best thing to start with. Every race is just as hard as the riders make it.”
Aside from riding well in the early mountains, he has a specific target. This is the stage 10 race against the clock between Foligno and Montefalco. “The first time trial can make the race interesting with riders like Dumoulin, Dennis and myself.”