After winning a second stage at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Marmaris, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) warned that his confidence is huge ahead of the Giro d’Italia but also lamented the lack of investment in trains for himself and the other Italian sprinters.
“It’s been six years since I first came to Turkey to finalize my preparation for the Giro d’Italia and I’ve come back every year," Modolo recalled on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean sea. “There have been a few doubts over our participation this time. There were some changes in the organization but I haven’t seen the difference really. I’ve maybe felt a bit more stress because of the wind on stage 3 and stage 2 was a difficult one whereas in the past, the beginning of the race was more relaxed. But it’s a very nice Tour.
“Last year, Roberto Ferrari, Max Richeze and myself were strong at the Giro after racing in Turkey," Modolo continued. “I guess it’ll be the same again. My only reservation is that I would have enjoyed a bit more time at home than just one day before going to the Giro. It’s quite a lot of travelling these days: coming to Turkey, flying from Istanbul to Cappadocia, flying to Istanbul and back to Italy after the race, flying to Holland for the start of the Giro, flying to the south of Italy to continue the Giro… But that’s part of the job. At least after the Giro I’ll take a good rest.”
One year ago, Modolo waited for stage 13 to claim his first win at the Giro in Lido di Jesolo before he doubled up in Lugano, Switzerland, on stage 17. He expects he'll need to be patient again this year because sprinters of a somewhat higher profile might take advantage of the first few flat stages: Marcel Kittel, André Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Arnaud Démare.
“I don’t feel inferior to them as a sprinter," the 28-year-old said. “But I may not have a team of the same level as theirs. We’ve lost Richeze [who joined Etixx-Quick Step] and I’ll only have Ferrari to lead me out. In the very flat stage finishes, it might be difficult for us to compete against the best trains but the Giro offers diverse courses and it’s a nervous race so I hope to get the results I’m looking for in the sprinters’ stages that are a bit harder.”
After he won stage 4 in the Tour of Turkey, Modolo noted the high number of good Italian sprinters but also the fact that none of them really has a train at his service. Elia Viviani (Sky), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Guardini (Astana), Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling), Jakub Mareczko (Southeast), Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) are also sprinters in teams that have resources split into different goals.
“As sprinters, we are the best cycling nation, in my opinion," he stated. “Viviani is among the best, there’s Nizzolo, too, and I consider myself one of the best, but unlike other foreign sprinters, no one invests in a train for us. It would be worth it, I think.”