Trek-Segafredo announced their Giro d'Italia team earlier this week with the focus on supporting Bauke Mollema in his bid to win the race. Stetina heads to the Giro d'Italia for the first since 2013, and although he has mixed experiences with the race, he will be key to Mollema's challenge in the mountains.
One of Stetina's best ever rides came in the 2012 Giro d'Italia when he, along with Christian Vande Velde, defended Ryder Hesjedal's hopes on an epic stage that finished atop the Passo Stelvio.
"I've done three Giro during my time with Slipstream. 2012 was one of the best races of my life when we won with Ryder and 2013 was one of the worst when we had all the snow days and I was on antibiotics the whole time. Hopefully we'll go back to the good times. I swore never to go back after 2013 but now I'm going again," Stetina told Cyclingnews at Romandie.
"The general form is good although I had to stop Catalunya with food poisoning but I've been at Lake Tahoe doing altitude prep before getting my race rhythm here for the Giro d'Italia. The plan is to go there and fight for the pink jersey with Mollema. He and I work really well together."
Fine-tuning at the Tour de Romandie
The opening four days at the Tour de Romandie were dominated with bitterly low temperatures, snow and rain but Stetina believes that the race serves a vital purpose as he puts the finishing touches to his condition.
"This is the final tune-up. Romandie is always a really good Giro prep race because there are two time trials and only four road stages. You go hard but it's not taxing on the system. It brings you up and then you have a few days easy before the Giro."
As for the Giro, Stetina aims to peak for the final week, with the race organiser stacking the back-end of the race with a serious of testing days in the mountains. It's the type of landscape on which Stetina hopes to come into his own.
"I'll be at the Giro for Bauke. They've pulled out all the stops this year with all the climbs. The aim for me is to peak for the final third week. If you're on it or GC then you need to be ready for the early stage to Etna but for me it's about the hard final week. That's when I need to come into my own. I'm pretty solid in the final week."
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