Buchmann considers return to Giro d'Italia in 2022

MONTE ZONCOLAN ITALY MAY 22 Emanuel Buchmann of Germany and Team Bora Hansgrohe during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 14 a 205km stage from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan 1730m UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 22 2021 in Monte Zoncolan Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Emanuel Buchmann at the 2021 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Emanuel Buchmann’s ambitions of finishing on the podium at a Grand Tour remain intact for next season despite a disappointing 2021 campaign that was marred by ill fortune, including the crash that forced him to abandon his Giro d’Italia debut.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider has yet to confirm his programme for 2022, but a return to the Giro could be on the cards in light of the scarcity of time trialling kilometres on the route. 

Buchmann placed fourth overall at the 2019 Tour de France, but his challenge the following year was compromised by a crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

"I'm very motivated," Buchmann told Radsport-News (opens in new tab). "My goals have not changed. The podium at a Grand Tour is right up there. If you look at the performance at the Giro up until the crash and the trend of my form, I was right on course. That gives me a good feeling that I'm on the right track."

After conceding a little ground in the early skirmishes in Italy, Buchmann hit his stride on the gravell stage to Montalcino, where he was one the strongest performers among the GC contenders, moving up to 6th overall in the process, telling Cyclingnews at the time that "everything is still possible".

Buchmann remained just over half a minute off a podium spot following the summit finish on the Zoncolan, but he was forced to abandon the race the next day when he was a faller in the mass crash in the opening kilometres of stage 15 in Grado.

"It was the biggest disappointment of the season," Buchmann told Radsport-News. "It's always difficult to cope with when you've done everything yourself to be really well prepared, and we're talking about many months, but in the end, due to a mass crash that you cannot influence yourself, everything comes to an abrupt end."

Buchmann returned to ride the Tour de France in support of Wilco Kelderman, though he was affected by a cold in the Alps and unable to chase his own personal ambition of a stage win, finishing 33rd overall.

He was diagnosed with coronavirus following his return from the Tokyo Olympics and he struggled to regain his form in the latter part of the campaign, bringing the curtain down on a trying year with an abandon at Il Lombardia. 

"In the end, all you can say is: it just wasn't my year," said Buchmann.

The 29-year-old will hope for better in 2022, his eighth season at Bora-Hansgrohe. The German squad have undergone some changes for the new campaign, with Peter Sagan departing and Sam Bennett returning, while the team have also added Aleksandr Vlasov, Jai Hindley and Sergio Higuita to their stable of stage racing talent.

Buchmann said that he and his team had yet to decide on his Grand Tour plans for 2022, but he felt the Giro route was, at least in theory, better tailored to him that the Tour. 

"In the Giro there are very few time trial kilometres and, as always, many difficult stages in the end. That certainly suits me in principle," said Buchmann. 

"The route of the Tour is also very difficult, with a lot of mountains. However, the first week is very tricky with a lot of wind and a Roubaix stage. That gives me a bit of a headache. The risk that something goes wrong in the first week is certainly greater on the Tour."

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