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"For me it's super nice that I can get another chance to ride as a leader. I think I'm more mature and more ready to accept the responsibility,"

Photo: A.S.O.

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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03.12.2016 @ 17:09 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Following the departure of Vincenzo Nibali and a strong 2016 season for himself, Jakob Fuglsang will be given considerably more leadership roles within Astana for 2017.

 

"For me it's super nice that I can get another chance to ride as a leader. I think I'm more mature and more ready to accept the responsibility," he told Cyclingnews. "It's not a problem for me to work for another team leader but I really want to go for it and really find my limits this time. I don't think I have found my limits yet. I still believe I can do better than I've done so far, that I've got more in me."

 

Fuglsang last led the Tour de France in 2013 for Astana and finished seventh overall. With Astana’s leader Fabio Aru being Italian, the 100th Giro captures his attention and young talent Miguel Angel Lopez’s tibia break means he will miss some of the beginning of the year. Fuglsang will once more be Astana’s man at the Tour, something he says me have been impossible without a silver medal at the Olympics.

 

"It's important for me for several reasons. First off, it's a clear sign to the team that I can perform at a high level as a team captain in hugely important races. Personally it was hugely satisfying and gave me a hug boost in my self-confidence for 2017."

 

The Dane, who will be 32 come the race’s start, says a top five is his goal for the race.

 

"I'd be happy with a top five in the Tour de France, I think it'd prove a lot of things. Of course it all depends on how the race goes. If I'm placed higher for much of the Tour, say on the podium, and then slip to fifth, I wouldn't be happy.”

 

"I know the riders fighting for the GC at the Tour are different now but all the big guys were there back in 2013 and Contador was at his very best too. Unfortunately for me, there's a really talented generation of Grand Tour riders racing at the moment. Some strong young guys are coming up too, so it's not going to be easy, even to get a top five, but I believe I can do something if the race goes in our favour."

 

Turning towards his build up races, e is keen to miss Down Under and would prefer to begin in Oman and Abu Dhabi, before hopefully riding the Tour of Flanders. He says if he was allowed too, he would even ride in Roubaix.

 

I hope I can start in the Tour of Oman or the Abu Dhabi Tour rather than the Tour Down Under in Australia - that's be a bit too early for me," he says. "The Tour of Flanders is a really cool race to do and I'd love to go back. I'd even love to try Paris-Roubaix but I know that is a little bit too risky for a Grand Tour rider. I'm not a pure climber and I'm a good bike handler thanks to my mountain bike skills, so I think I can do something good at the Tour of Flanders.”

 

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