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"I hoped to arrive at the Giro d'Italia with the Giro del Trentino in my legs, but unfortunately, in cycling, these things happen. Physical problems are part of the sport."

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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JURGEN VAN DEN BROECK

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07.05.2015 @ 19:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The first press conferences of the 98th Giro d'Italia, organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, took place today on the glorious Italian Riviera.

ASTANA PRO TEAM
Fabio Aru, 3rd last year and one of the big pre-race favourites, said:

Q: "How are you, have you recovered from your illness, and who do you fear?"
A: "I hoped to arrive at the Giro d'Italia with the Giro del Trentino in my legs, but unfortunately, in cycling, these things happen. Physical problems are part of the sport. When I realised I was ill, I went to the mountains, and spent 10 days training at altitude with Diego Rosa, Paolo Tiralongo and Dario Cataldo. We did had an intense week. I come into the Giro d'Italia having worked hard since November, with a team that is very motivated. My rivals are hardened stage racers. Alberto (Contador) will be very motivated to do well, (Rigoberto) Urán will be very good in the long time trial, and Richie Porte will also be formidable."

Q: "Is your team as strong as Tinkoff - Saxo?"
A: "I think we are very strong. I wanted to be with them at Trentino but they showed that they could ride hard in my absence. In Catalunya, I rode with almost all of them, and we were always at the front, and it was a very hard race. At Trentino, I could only watch from the sofa, but they were very strong and they rode well. I'm very happy with my team."

Q: "What is your strategy for the Giro?"
A: "The Giro d'Italia will be hard right from the start, with the team time trial, the Abetone stage, and then the long individual time trial, which will be the crux of the race The last week is also very hard, with the mountain stages on the Mortirolo and up to Sestriere. It will be important to stay focused for all three weeks."

LOTTO SOUDAL
Jurgen Van den Broeck, the Belgian rider who is aiming high in the GC, said:

Q: "How does it feel to come back to the Giro d'Italia, and what is your target?"
A: "I'm really happy to come back here after so many years, to the race where it all started (7th in 2008). I have a special bond with Italy because I lived here when I was a bit younger. As for my goal, we have to see day by day, of course, but we have said top 10 to start with, and then we'll see from day to day and from week to week."

Q: "Who will be your main rivals?"
A: "First of all, the big favourites, and after them, for places 4 or 5, anything is possible. It's hard to see who will be the main rivals for those places. You have to see during the race."

Andre Greipel, the German sprinter targeting stage wins, said:

Q: "You won the most wins of all the German riders."
A: "I've won a lot, but I'm also older than the current riders in Germany. I've won quite a good number of races, but now I want to raise the bar a bit higher."

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