Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) chose to start his 2015 season at the Santos Tour Down Under with the aim of putting last year’s crashes and bad luck behind but the Italian climber crashed again last Thursday while training and hurt his left wrist.
“The x-ray didn’t show anything but a MRI scan later evidenced a small fracture”, the Italian revealed to Cyclingnews after stage one. “Therefore I have to handle a bit more pain but it won’t affect my performance. My goal is still to make the top 5. There’s nothing to do except resting but that’s what I have on my agenda after this race anyway.”
On January 30, Pozzovivo will return to the Bolzano clinic in northern Italy where he was operated after crashing hard and fracturing his tibia on August 10.
“I was at a training camp at the Stelvio”, he recalled. “On a downhill, a cat crossed the road straight into my front wheel. I rolled over him and I broke my right tibia.”
A plate and fifteen screws will have to be removed at the end of this month. “This time I won’t have to use the crutches”, he said. “If I’m able to walk I’ll attend the Ag2r-La Mondiale team presentation in Paris but I’ll be off the bike again for a week and I’ll resume racing with Tirreno-Adriatico.”
Last year’s forced break during the Vuelta lead to Pozzovivo making his first trip to Australia for the Tour Down Under.
“I love racing in the heat and it’s great to escape the European cold,” he declared. “It was either San Luis or here. Possibly the course in Argentina suits climbers more but I prefer to take part in a WorldTour event. It motivates me to race in a more competitive field. Now it’s almost impossible for a sprinter to win the Tour Down Under. We have stage two and stage three when its important not to lose any time and then stage five to Willunga Hill to shape up the overall classification.”
Hopes and ambitions for 2015
The 32 year-old who completed his PhD in economics prior to joining a WorldTour team in 2013 also revealed his ambitions for the 2015 season.
“I want to ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège at the same level as last year and obtain a better result (he was fifth in 2014). I want to make the podium of the Giro d’Italia and finish the Vuelta a Espana in the top five. Because I started cycling late and rode for a Professional Continental team -Panaria and then CSF, for quite a long time (from 2005 to 2012), I still have room for improvement despite my age. I think I’ll keep getting better for the next two years,” he said.
“I’m very satisfied with the choice I made when I signed for Ag2r-La Mondiale. Although being part of the WorldTour means things are becoming more and more robotic, this team has remained very human. It’s the ideal atmosphere for me.”