The Manxman is ready and motivated ahead of his first outing in nine years at the Corsa Rosa.

“I’m coming into the race prepared and relaxed. I worked hard for this, scored some victories already this year, and the motivation is there. I always loved being here and it feels great to return after nine years. Last time I was here I took five wins and the points jersey, so there are a lot of great memories I have from the previous participations.”

“Obviously, the dynamic of the Giro might have changed since the last time I was here and it might not be the race I remember, so we’ll see how things unfold. But as I already said, I had a good preparation and I’m happy with where I am. Actually, I’m in pretty similar form to last year, and this gives me confidence.”

“We have a very good team for this race and I’m delighted to have Michael as my lead-out man, but also Davide and Bert, who will form a strong train for the bunch sprints. That’s the biggest factor for my confidence, knowing that I have these incredible guys in front of me that I can trust. But it’s not only them, it’s also Mauro, Mauri, James and Pieter, all great guys to ride around Italy and spend time with.”

“I looked over the parcours and there will be a couple of opportunities for a bunch sprint in the next three weeks, although I don’t think the pure sprinters will have a chance on the opening stage. The Giro has always had some savage stages and this year is no different, but it will be the same for everyone. We’re happy to be here, you can feel how everything is building up with just days to go until the start, and we’ll try to be in contention every time there will be an opportunity.”

 

Photo credit: ©Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

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