Fabian Wegmann won the mountains jersey in his first Grand Tour, the 2004 Giro d'Italia, but his goal this year is simply to survive the climbs and arrive in Milan on May 29.
Now riding for Leopard Trek, the 30-year-old hopes for his own chance in the first week of the race. “A stage win would be nice. Especially the first stages are good for me, going by the profile, and so I will give it a try,” he told Yahoo.de. “That is one of the reasons I am going to the Giro and am focusing on the first half.”
He is not looking forward to the climbs in the second half of the three-week race. “The Giro wants to match the Tour, but such extremes aren't really the right way. I have to ask myself whether harder and steeper really makes it more interesting.”
At any rate, there won't be a repeat of the German winning the maglia verde as best climber, as he did seven years ago. “The Giro wasn't nearly as hard, that has definitely changed,” Wegmann noted. “We did ride the Gavia pass, but not every day for a week – which is how you can compare it to this year.
“I got my mountain jersey through countless attacks, and was always in escape groups, especially in the not-so-difficult stages. This year you can't get the jersey that way.”
The whole team will be looking for stage wins rather than having any overall title hopes. “Everyone will look for their chance and go for stage wins, especially since our top sprinter Daniele Bennati unfortunately won't be there. For the GC only Oliver Zaugg comes into question, but there won't be more than a place between 15th and 20th for him.”
Nor does the team have big ambitions for the opening team time trial. “We have good riders at the Giro, and have super equipment, but we just won't have the absolute time trial specialists at the start. It won't be possible to finish near the top. A place in the top eight would be a super result.”
Wegmann also knows that he most likely won't be riding the Tour de France this year. “I would like to go, but probably won't be there. But at this point I can't, and don't want to, say anything about that.”