Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) won’t be blocking the world out as he gets ready for the opening time trial at this year’s Giro d’Italia, rather he’ll be welcoming fans to ride along with him, doing a virtual group workout as he warms up for the race against the clock.
The holder of the UCI Hour Record will be getting ready for the 8.6 kilometre long, opening time trial in Turin, with an intense tailor-made workout with users of Zwift able to join him for the ride so they can discover what it takes to get ready for a race against the clock.
"Not having fans with us at the start of races is something I have really missed,” said Campenaerts in a statement. “So, I've decided for the Giro, I will try to go to the fans who continue to support us from home, and structure my TT warm-up as a group workout on Zwift, so everyone can still join us."
COVID-19 measures mean the 184 riders and 460 team staff are entering a protective race and team bubbles, with the start, finish and team bus areas all part of the race bubble area. However, crowds will be allowed along the race route but face masks and distancing are obligatory outdoors in Italy.
World time trial champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) is the overwhelming favourite to take out the opening stage, having also won all three Giro time-trials last year, while Rémi Cavagna's (Deceuninck-QuickStep) win on stage 5 of the Tour de Romandie has also drawn him into the spotlight.
However, Campenaerts also can't be ignored, having come second in Milan last year at the final TT and just being beaten by Tom Dumoulin in Jerusalem in 2018.
After joining the warm-up on Zwift riders are also being encouraged to continue on with the Bologna time trial from the 2019 Giro once Campenaerts, who starts third at 14:02 CET, has started his race against the clock.
”So once the warm-up is complete, I know I won't be suffering out there alone. This is part of the Ubuntu spirit in our team, so I hope many people will join to encourage me before I start the Giro d'Italia,” said Campenaerts.
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