The veteran of ten prior Giro d'Italia's, Domenico Pozzovivo is looking to make his mark on the 100th running of the Corsa Rosa. While Pozzovivo missed the 2009 Giro, marking 100 year's since the Italian Grand Tour was first held, he is motivated for the Giro 100 as AG2R-La Mondiale's general classification leader.
The 34-year-old may still be searching for his first win of the season, third place overall at the Tour of the Alps along with tenth place at Tirreno-Adriatico and ninth at Abu Dhabi Tour has Pozzovivo in a confident mood.
"We will be starting not only a very important race for cycling, but a very important event for all of Italy," said the 2012 stage 8 winner. "There is a bit of a holiday atmosphere here in Sardinia, and it's a good chance to take advantage of the tranquillity of the island before the beginning of the race. This will be a wonderful start to the Giro."
After three top-ten overall results between 2012 and 2014, Pozzovivo started the 2015 Giro aiming for a high overall result. However, after losing time in the first few stages, Pozzovivo crashed out the race. He recovered from the predominately head injuries, to finish in 11th place overall at the Vuelta a España. 20th last year at the Giro suggests Pozzovivo can again be an animator of the race but he believes the first week will be crucial in setting up the general classification.
"The first week will be crucial for the overall standings," he said of the Giro start which takes in Sardinia and Sicily before hitting the mainland. "The Sardinian roads can be tricky and we will climb Mount Etna as soon as we arrive in Sicily on the 4th day (Cefalù - Etna). I believe that the 9th stage (Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus) will give us a good overview of which riders are in with a shot."
Pozzovivo adds that once through the first week, the mountain packed third week will be the real challenge but he is confident in his form and the team AG2R-La Mondiale have selected in support of his aims.
"The 16th stage between Rovett and Bormio will certainly be a decisive day of the Giro with the double ascent of Stelvio. Even for a climber, it will be very challenging! We are going to have a string of difficulties during the last week, everyone will have to be alert and fit. I have managed to make an impression at some of the races this season, and I am happy with what I was able to do at the recent Tour of the Alps (3rd place)," he said. "As far as the team is concerned, I know Matteo (Montaguti) and Hubert (Dupont) very well, but we have also found a good rhythm with the other riders as well. I am confident."
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