Davide Formolo could hardly have asked for a better debut at the Giro d’Italia last year, but the young Italian feels he’s in an even better position to leave his mark on the corsa rosa this time around.
The Cannondale rider, then just 22 years of age, stoked the hopes of a nation last year when he rode away and came up with a stunning solo win at La Spezia on stage 4. That showing came in spite of the fact he was only called up to the Giro squad after the Vuelta al País Vasco in mid-April.
This time, however, he’s known since the off-season and the winter that the Giro d'Italia would be his main objective for the first half of the season – and it has only bolstered his confidence.
“When you start with a big goal from the start of the season it’s hugely motivating. You do everything – and I have done everything – to arrive here in good shape,” he said at Cannondale’s pre-Giro press conference at the Apeldoorn velodrome on Wednesday.
“In a race as long as this, that can make a huge difference – especially in the last week. It gives you great desire to achieve what you’re capable of achieving.”
Formolo was reminded by an Italian journalist that Fausto Coppi was 20 when he won the first of his five Giro d’Italia titles. When asked what he himself, as a 22-year-old, hoped to achieve this May, he first of all pointed out with a smile that he is in fact 23, before explaining that his primary focus is to support Rigobero Urán – twice a Giro runner-up.
“Rigo will certainly be up there,” he said, “and the task I’ve set myself is to be up there in the key moments with him to support him.”
That said, Formolo didn’t rule out the possibility of a repeat of those solo exploits of 12 months ago.
“In a race like this, we have 21 days, 21 stages, so there’s a lot of opportunity,” he said, without admitting whether he’d bookmarked any stages in Il Garibaldi – the Giro d'Italia road book.
“The main focus is the GC with Rigo, and I know I’m here to support him. My main goal is to support him in the key moments, but for sure, over the course of 21 days maybe we can find some opportunities for myself.”
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