As from today I have the chance, to become one of those great riders, who have won a stage at all three Grand Tours. We tie into this Giro with the scheme being at the very front in the sprints. I do not make no secret of it. I want to win a stage here. I am fired up for this race. The team presentation was a good attunement already. I am looking forward to sprint finishes now.
However, today we have to cope with a team time trial first of all. Nevertheless we want to do a good race to have good start of the Giro. But we do not have high ambitions and we are not one of the favorites.
On the next two stages here in Ireland there are some good opportunities for a stage win. Well, it will not be easy, especially on the second stage. The weather is typically Irish, quite wet and windy. Indeed, the landscape is beautiful, but it would not be country where I would like to spend my holidays. I need more sun. But to come back to the second stage: We will ride along the coast, so that we have to be attentive and ride in the front of the bunch due to the strong winds. When you miss the echelon, the race is already over before it has begun.
I start the Giro very optimistic. I am in good shape. At the Tour de Romandie I gathered some important kilometres. But of course the stages' profiles were to difficult for me there. That I am in good shaped proved the prologue, where I finished in third place.
I will get back to you soon. Keep your fingers crossed that we will have fine weather.