Alexey, you had a tough spring campaign, the classics races were full of bad luck, crashes and injures. How do you feel now, at the start of the Giro d’Italia?
- The very beginning of the season was quite good, I won my first race of the year, the Tour of Oman. But, later, everything changed at the classics. I had many moments with a real bad luck; I have many crashes in bad racing moments… But, it happens in cycling. After the Tour of Flanders I’ve made a big break, I’ve spent a month without races, had some rest and did a very nice training camp on the altitude. So, now, before the Giro, I am feeling full of energy and in a good mood. This is my first Giro d’Italia and I am happy to be here, I think I am in a right form for this race.
How was your last training camp?
- The camp went really well and productive, I managed to do a lot of important work. After my crash at the Tour of Flanders I spent some time at home to fully recover, and then I went to the altitude for 15 days and came back just before the trip to Israel. I think that the work done there should bear fruit at the Giro.
Have you learned about the route of the Giro d’Italia?
- Yes, I looked through the entire route, but in detail I studied only the first week. Later, I'll see the rest. I liked the route of tomorrow's prologue very much – a short distance with a lot of short climbs and descents – I like this kind of races. I would like to do tomorrow’s ITT on a high level. Of course, this will be the first day for me after a month without racing, everything will depend on the legs, but in general, I feel very good, so let's see what I will do tomorrow. The other two stages in Israel are more suitable for sprinters, but the most interesting things will begin after moving to Sicily: the first week should be difficult and exciting.
What plans and what ambitions do you have in this race?
- First of all, our team is set to fight in the overall classification. We have a young and very promising leader, Miguel Angel Lopez and all the forces will be directed to help him in the race. This is the main goal. Cycling is a team sport and on this race, as well as on others, we, first of all, have to be united and solid team. Of course, I would like to achieve a personal result. I will try to seek the opportunities in a breakaway or in a late attack at one of stages. In general, I am 100% ready to help the team, but I am sure that if I have a chance, the guys will also support me at a moment. We have a strong team, so I am sure that we will succeed in this Giro d'italia.