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“I think they will be very dangerous stages, all the more so because of the probable wind and rain,” Pozzovivo said.

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson

DECATHLON AG2R LA MONDIALE

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DOMENICO POZZOVIVO

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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09.05.2014 @ 08:24 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Domenico Pozzovivo, apart from the impressive climbing skills, is known for his higher education and being a keen pianist, but it turns out that yet another extraordinary hobby has to be added to his account, as the Ag2R La Mondiale leader is reportedly an amateur meteorologist, too.

 

According to Cyclingnews,  Pozzovivo’s extraordinary interest in weather is used on almost daily basis by his Ag2R team before their pre-race briefings, and thus the 31-year old Italian was encouraged to make some predictions towards the opening three stages of the Giro d’Italia, both in terms of weather conditions and their possible impact on the three-week event.

 

“It’s very hard to predict here, but I think I can stick my neck out and say that tomorrow evening we’ll probably be racing without rain,” Pozzovivo told Cyclingnews at Belfast’s city hall on Thursday. “But then Saturday is going to be the worst day. I think it will probably rain for almost the entire stage.”

 

“I think they will be very dangerous stages, all the more so because of the probable wind and rain,” Pozzovivo said. “I think that a lot of riders, the other climbers, are going to have the same problem as me. We’ll have to use the other riders on our teams as best we can to try and get out of here without losing time, especially because there’s the team time trial too, which isn’t exactly our forte.”

 

Since the French WorldTour squad is not the main strength in the professional peloton when in comes to team time trials, Pozzovivo admitted to settle for limiting his losses on the Giro opening stage to 40 seconds with a hope to maintain such deficit over the following two days in Ireland.

 

Even though the 31-year old Italian, just like any other 2014 Giro d’Italia contender, predicts that the event will be decided in the difficult final week of competition, he pointed out that first attacks can be expected just after the race lands on Italian soil.

 

“At Viggiano and Montecassino you’ll have to be in front already, and I think you’ll see the guys for the general classification up there even at that point. But then next weekend, we’re already almost into the high mountains, and that’s when we’ll start to see the first significant gaps,” he said.

 

While Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) are considered as most serious title contenders in this year’s Giro d’Italia edition, Pozzovivo admitted to be impressed by in-form Cadel Evans (BMC) after racing with him two weeks ago at the Giro del Trentino. The Ag2R La Mondiale leader also thoughtfully pointed out that the opening team time trial strongly favors Omega Pharma-Quick Step captain Rigoberto Uran and that, as it usually happens, some young riders should emerge as future grand tour stars.

 

“Evans showed that he was going at a very, very high level, up there with the best, and I’d have him as one of the favourites. Then there’s Rigoberto Uran, who’ll be dangerous if he’s at the same level as last year, and the team time trial is a good way to start the race for him,” said Pozzovivo, who also pointed to the man who duelled with him at the Brixia Tour in 2010. “There are always surprises too, younger guys who come through. I’m thinking in particular of Daniel Martin and not just because it’s starting from his home country.”

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