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“There are three or four cyclists who will be close to winning this Giro d’Italia,” Domenico Pozzovivo said. “You can’t say for sure, but I think that I’m one of those who can battle for a win.”

Photo: Sirotti

DECATHLON AG2R LA MONDIALE

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DOMENICO POZZOVIVO

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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22.05.2014 @ 10:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Domenico Pozzovivo was certainly the biggest winner of peloton’s first randez vous with mountains at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, as in-form climber was the only general classification contender to launch a courageous attack and gain seconds on other race favorites on Sunday.

 

“I let him gain some time,” Evans said of Pozzovivo. “Now, though, I’m going to be keeping a closer eye on him. He has been going strongly and his team is riding well, we’ve seen that over the weekend’s stages.”

 

Apparently latest showings served as a solid confidence boost for Pozzovivo, as the 31-year old Italian started to consider himself a winner-candidate of the 2014 edition of the Italian grand tour.

 

“There are three or four cyclists who will be close to winning this Giro d’Italia,” he told VeloNews. “You can’t say for sure, but I think that I’m one of those who can battle to win.”

 

Even though Pozzovivo is known as an excellent climber and he time trials better than he is usually given credit for, the Ag2R La Mondiale leader so far was always missing a point to really excel in three-week events.

 

“I’ve been going well, yes, but I wasn’t going badly last year, either. Due to a crash in the Giro del Trentino, though, I wasn’t able to express myself as much as I wanted to in last year’s Giro,” Pozzovivo said.

 

“Already at the Vuelta a España, though, I showed that I improved a lot from the year before with a sixth overall [in 2013]. Anyway, I think it’s because I’m continuing to race at this high level, in WorldTour races — that’s helped me mature, also in the tactical sense.”

 

This season, however, Pozzovivo appears to be in a form of his life and is surrounded by impressively strong Ag2R team, more united than ever following their very successful spring campaigns.

 

“Like all of the big changes, at the start of last year, I had more difficulties than I’d normally have, but afterwards, it wasn’t so bad,” he said.

 

“Already at the start of the season you could see that we were more compact. When there’s a leader, we support him well. Also at the classics, at Liège and here at the Giro, we are doing well as a team.”

 

While there are no doubts that the 31-year old Italian is looking forward to the final week in Dolomites, today’s performance in over 40-kilometer long individual time trial appears to be more decisive in regards to Pozzovivo’s chances for the overall victory in season’s first grand tour. The Ag2R leader, however, seems very confident and ready for every challenge the versatile Giro course offers.

 

“What do I lack? We’ll see in the last week,” Pozzovivo said. “In the long stages, I’m fine and in the time trial to Barolo on Thursday, I can defend myself well. I hope my condition allows me to continue like this until the end of the Giro d’Italia.”

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