Tinkoff-Saxo are backing Nicolas Roche and Rafał Majka for overall success at this year's Giro d'Italia and prior to the Grand Partenza in Belfast, the team prepared for the race with a block of training on Sicily's Mt Etna.
It was on Sicily that the Giro team came together, training on the 1900m high volcano in order to be ready for when the race encounters such climbs as the Zoncolan, Stelvio, Gavia and Plan di Montecampione. As Chris Anker Sørensen explains, it is "important to get altitude meters in the legs" before a three-week Grand Tour.
On the Italian island, the sports director Giuseppe Toni explained the importance of riders knowing how to position themselves on the climbs and knowing when to attack.
Alberto Contador's season is built around July's Tour de France although the grand tour specialist, who has a climbing style all of his own, is proving to be a key mentor to his younger teammates. For Tinkoff-Saxo, emulating Contador's style on the ascents may just lead to a stage win or two this May.
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