2013 has been a year of firsts for Luke Durbridge. He became the first Australian to win both the national road race and time trial in the same year, at elite level. Durbridge also took on Paris-Roubaix for the first time, in April. The Aussie is about to embark on his first grand tour, in two days, at the Giro d’Italia. Durbridge spoke to Cyclingnews HD ahead of this particular landmark.
CN HD: How are you feeling ahead of the Giro?
Luke Durbridge: “I’m feeling good. I’m only home for 48 hours from Romandie and then I’m off again to the Giro. We’ve got a few days to recover by the time we get down to Naples. So I should be ready to go once the Giro starts.”
CN HD: This is your first Grand Tour. How will you approach it?
Durbridge: “I’m not sure what to expect. I think the first week will be like any other race and then it will start to bite in the second. I’ve never raced this long so I’m going into the unknown. I’m excited and I’ll be a bit of a kid in a candy shop for the first week. I look forward to it.”
CN HD: Have any of the guys told you what the fatigue is like in one of these races?
Durbridge: “All the guys are great, they give me loads of tips. One of the most common tips is to just be prepared to be on your knees and still rock up day after day. I think, if you can get through the second week you’ll be right. I don’t think you get too much more fatigued, you just go through the motions. I’ve just got to struggle through that second week and then hopefully I can get to Milan.”
CN HD: What will your role be at the race?
Durbridge: “This year there is no real expectation on me. It’s just to gain experience and get a grand tour into my legs. A lot of the guys say that once you’ve got a grand tour under your legs you can go to another level. The main objective is to get Matthew Goss up there for the sprints. I’ll just try to do the best I can do. The main focus will just be to get through and get some good kilometres in my legs.”
CN HD: Is there anything you’re looking forward to or not?
Durbridge: “The length of the race I’m a little bit nervous about. I’m looking forward to getting back to racing in Italy. I haven’t raced in Italy since I was an under-23. I love how passionate the Italians are, the food, the coffee and the whole atmosphere that an Italian race brings. People back in Australia watch all the grand tours, so they can see what you’re doing.”
Cycling News HD
For the full interview with Luke Durbridge download issue 53 of Cycling News HD. This week’s issue has another exclusive interview with Cannondale rider Elia Viviani. We take a look forward to the opening stages of the Giro d’Italia. Plus reviews of Chris Froome’s win at the Tour de Romandie and the action from the Tour of Turkey. All with in depth analysis and stunning photography.
Delivered to your iPad every Wednesday, Cyclingnews HD brings you the best all-new cycling photography in the world via the best medium for viewing it, as well as reports, results and exclusive analysis of all the week’s biggest races, in-depth previews of the races and stages to watch in the week ahead, interviews, news and opinion.