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"I can confirm that I'm going to ride Milan-San Remo. I want to experience the high speed on the coast, the fighting for position and the tension. I'll also ride the Ardennes."

Photo: A.S.O.

ASTANA - PREMIER TECH

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MILANO - SANREMO

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21.09.2016 @ 13:07 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Astana leader Fabio Aru will end his season with a series of one-day races on home soil. The Italian, who cracked badly in the Tour de France, will only have Giro della Toscana as a post-Tour stage race.

 

Aru was sixth in Rio and placed fairly well in the European Championships, Canadian races and Coppa Agostoni. He is scheduled to ride Coppa Sabatini and Giro dell’Emilia before Milan-Turin, possibly Gran Piemonte and then Il Lombardia.

 

"I'm a Grand Tour rider and always will be but I think I need to experience the world of one day racing to learn and improve as a rider," Aru told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "One day races help you sharpen your ability to read a race, help you handle the fighting for wheels, understand the attacks and things like echelons and splits in the peloton. All that helps your confidence and is a help in the Grand Tours. That's especially been the case in recent years when there have been attacks on the flat roads in the first week."

 

Aru says any feud with soon to be ex-teammate Vincenzo Nibali is over, and it was Nibali who advised Aru to race one-day events.

 

"We've spoken a lot this year, we get on now," Aru claimed. "Apart from 2013 when I was a neo-pro and his domestique, we never spent much time together but for the Olympics we spent a lot of time together. He was the one who told me to focus on one-day races as well as stage races. He told me: 'You've got to ride the Amstel Gold Race and the other Ardennes Classics and races like the Clasica San Sebastian. They give you an edge that you can use in Grand Tours.' He's right."

 

Aru, who had finished in the top five of every Grand Tour he had led Astana at before the Tour, says finishing 13th in his first attempt in France is something he hasn’t got over yet.

 

"I'm still struggling to get over it, I'm not going to deny it," Aru admitted. "I've thought about it a lot and I've realised I made a lot of mistakes. I didn't know how to handle the flat stages and the windy days were a real eye opener for me."

 

Aru revealed he will ride Sanremo and the Ardennes in 2017, and the Astana leader says he will try and be in better form in build up races as he wants to have won at least one race before he reaches his first Grand Tour of the year.

 

"We've still got to decide things but I don't want to start the Grand Tours without having won a race," Aru insisted. "I can already confirm that I'm going to ride Milan-San Remo. I've never done it and want to experience the high speed on the coast road, the fighting for position and the tension of the race. I'll also ride the Ardennes. I want to be competitive and start the season on the front foot, to have the confidence for the rest of the season."

 

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