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Takeaways from the press conference

In the margin of its third Tour of Italy, team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty presented its ambition during a press conference held in Montesilvano (Pescara) this Friday.

« I performed with regularity and achieved several good results during the beginning of the season. A podium is missing, I was close in the Tour of Oman with fourth place. That's why I'm really hungry for a victory at the start of my fourth Giro d'Italia. I'm always looking forward to a Grand Tour, because there are always higher chances for breakaways to survive until the finish. For a rider like me, there's an opportunity in each stage with a difficult finish. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty always supported me to grab these opportunities, like in the Vuelta of 2021. It won't be any different in this Giro. »

« Races of three weeks have no secrets anymore for me. I can estimate exactly how hard it will be and where the challenges could be. I always take it day by day. I shared this advice with our young debutants, so they have a better idea what's coming. They are excited to get started, it is my mission to keep their feet on the ground, to pass my experience. I'm convinced that there are opportunities for all riders of our team, whether it's in the sprint, in the mountains or on the attack. »

« My goal is to finish this Giro and to explore my limits as a sprinter. By participating in Paris-Nice and the Volta Catalunya I could acquire experience at the highest level. I especially noticed how important it is to have the support of a team which can bring you to the front at the right moment. I'm happy that I can rely on strong riders such as Sven Erik Bystrøm or Laurenz Rex for this job. They have a big engine and they have already proven themselves in this role by leading top sprinters to the victory. »

« I trained my climbing a lot to prepare this Giro, because a sprint with a reduced peloton suits me better than a big bunch sprint. My feeling was good and I concluded ma last intense training block with the classic Eschborn-Frankfurt. I'm also ready to help my teammates in the stages which suit me less. I'm convinced that I can pass the mountains. This is important because my goal is to finish this Giro. »

« The Giro is probably the first race I saw live as a kid, close to home, when it crossed the border from Germany to Belgium. So it is quite symbolic that the Giro will be my first Grand Tour. I'm discovering the highest level of cycling since my arrival in Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and until yesterday's team presentation it was difficult to realize that I will participate in one of the biggest races in the world. I can't wait to get started. »

« My top ten in Paris-Roubaix gave my confidence a big boost. I feel ready mentally and physically. After the Hell of North I took a little break before preparing myself on Majorca and resuming competition in Eschborn-Frankfurt. My main goal is to reach Rome. I know that my efforts during the next three weeks will be beneficial for my progression and the rest of my career. »

« Adrien Petit gave me a lot of advice on how to handle a race of three weeks and on how to use my forces with intelligence. If I manage to pick the right stage, I feel capable of making the jersey of the team shine. An ideal scenario for me would be to be part of a breakaway that survives until the finish. Also, I won't hesitate to help my teammates, for example in the lead out for the sprint.

« Arne, Laurens Huys and I will discover our first Grand Tour. We will support each other to go as far as possible. In this kind of race, our family atmosphere makes even a bigger difference. We have the chance to be able to rely on experienced teammates. I'm especially happy with the presence of Rein Taaramäe in our Giro roster. With seventeen Grand Tours in the legs, he is definitely one of the most experienced riders in the Giro peloton. He often gave me advice for my preparation in the past couple of weeks so I could start my Tour of Italy in a relaxed way. He warned me for the difficulty of this race and especially encouraged me to believe in my capabilities. »

« At the end of 2021 I was invited in Ortona to announce the new collaboration between Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and Vini Zabù. It was a proud moment for myself to welcome the Sciotti family in our team, after spending one year in an Italian team with Vini Zabù as title sponsor. It is of great value for our team to be able to rely on partners as them, who carry cycling in their hearts. The start in Pescara brings an additional dimension to our motivation to give the best of ourselves and to show our new jersey. »

« My form in this period of the year has never been better. In my preparation I’ve done everything I wanted to do. My good feeling in Eschborn-Frankfurt confirmed that I will start my fourth Tour of Italy in top shape. During the first two weeks there are quite a lot of stages which suit me. With the team we will see the situation day by day and alternate, to go full for the highest possible result with a certain rider in each stage. Personally, I pay attention to the stage towards Bergamo, the city in which I arew up. This fifteenth stage gives me an additional incentive. But I don’t plan to wait so long to show myself! »

« We came to this Giro with the ambition of winning a stage, just like in the latest two editions. I have excellent memories from our first two participations to the Giro d’Italia, with three memorable stage wins. This success was the result of a true fighting spirit and a collective will to realize the impossible. This spirit will again be our weapon the next three weeks to get the best out of this Giro d’Italia. »

« In each stage we’ll be looking for the possibilities to achieve the best possible result with our riders. Therefore we’ll analyze the evolution of the general classification day by day, trying to predict which teams aim to control. Our riders will show themselves and this from the beginning of the Giro. We don't have ambition for the general classification. But who knows, thanks to a breakaway it is possible to anticipate and gain time. One and a half year ago Rein Taaramäe showed that in this way it is even possible to take the double: win a stage and conquer the leader’s jersey. »

« This Tour of Italy will be an important step in the development of our three young Belgian talents. Next to Taaramäe, they can rely on other experienced riders, who also made our colors shine on the attack in the most important races. I’m thinking of Lorenzo Rota, who was close to a stage win last year, and of Sven Erik Bystrøm, who won the first combativity award in the latest Tour de France. I also believe in the chances of Laurenz Rex in a breakaway. With Niccoló Bonifazio and Arne Marit we have two fast riders in our team. In the mountains I’m looking forward to the performances of Laurens Huys, Simone Petilli and Taaramäe. »


General Classification


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