Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) on stage to receive the sprint classification jersey.
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Orica GreenEdge rider to hunt winning break at grand tour
Just 12 days separates the end of the Ardennes and the Giro d'Italia and a countdown will begin for Christian Meier (Orica GreenEdge).
The Canadian will be riding the Giro for the second time in his career, his third grand tour having previously also ridden the Vuelta a Espana in 2009 with Garmin - Slipstream. Like quite a number of riders at the Ardennes this week, Meier is using the one-day events as a launching pad to a tough three weeks in the saddle.
"The Giro's always a spectacular race and a race I really enjoy," he told Cyclingnews. "For me it's my favourite grand tour of the year so I'm looking forward to it. If you ask me that again in the second week I might use different words, but I am looking forward to it."
Meier's form has been impressive with some rare personal results of late, claiming the sprint classification at the Volta a Catalunya late last month, this combined with 32 podiums so far for the season for the team, the 28-year-old says "we have to be happy."
Meier's season is based on peaking for the Giro, mentally as well as physically and he'll be dedicated to laying the groundwork for lead sprinter Matt Goss and climber Pieter Weening over the three weeks of the race.
"I think this year the Giro's a bit different in the sense that we have some hilly stages early on and then some more sprint stages after," he explained. "The team time trial maybe sounds not so straight forward this year so I think it will be an interesting first few days but with Gossy we can win a stage and also with Pieter Weening we have a shot at the hillier days."
As for his own chances, one good breakaway will do. "You never know, there's always breakaways that go all the way to the line - it's about finding the right one. I never mind a good day up the road."
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