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
Your Friday Daily News Digest
On paper Team Sky should have one of the strongest teams in the Giro d’Italia, with not only Geraint Thomas but also Mikel Landa capable of big performances.
The former is now 30 years of age and has a best Grand Tour placing thus far of 15th in the past two Tours. However he was riding for Chris Froome and believes he has still got room to step things up. “Time is not running out. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done, but age is just a number,” he insisted. “I feel I have a lot of time ahead of me. Track racing hasn’t taken too much from me. I’m ready for more years on the bike.
“It’s obviously one of the biggest challenges of my career to lead Team Sky in a Grand Tour. It’s been pretty sweet so far, but so much can happen; we’ve got a strong team, and I’m looking forward to it.”
He makes clear that others should be under a bigger weight of expectation than him. “Quintana and Nibali have won this race before. They stand up,” he said. “Myself and Landa have a chance but we’re not at that level, we’re not the favourites – so we’ll race in a different way than we usually do at the Tour de France.
“The fact that it’s the 100th edition is not much of a factor, there’s history, and it has influenced the choice, but when it comes to racing, we just take the race and take any chance to do well. The level of the field is very high, so is the course.”