Elia Viviani: “I’m dreaming of the cyclamen jersey”
The 29-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider is ready for his fifth Corsa Rosa appearance.
The 101st Giro d'Italia is just around the corner, with the teams and riders having already arrived in Israel – first country from outside of Europe to host the start of a Grand Tour – 72 hours before the race gets underway with a short but tricky individual time trial on the streets of Jerusalem, at the end of which the first pink jersey will be awarded.
Elia Viviani – who so far has had a perfect first part of the season in the Quick-Step Floors jersey – will be one of the riders to watch during the next three weeks, as the 29-year-old Italian returns to his beloved home race for the first time since 2016.
"I have a good condition and I'm here to finish the Giro, but I know it won't be easy, because it's such a hard race. On the other hand, having a flat stage in Rome on the final day is a special motivation, so I'm going to do all that I can to get there. I'm happy that the team presented me with this opportunity and that I have such a strong squad around me. I want to repay their confidence and will give everything that I have for this."
A stage winner in Genoa, back in 2016, Viviani hopes to start the opening weekend on the right foot and get a stage victory before the race goes to Italy next week: "My dream is to win the cyclamen jersey and a couple of stages, but we need to take it step by step. Let's see first how the first two stages, in Tel Aviv and Eilat will unfold, and afterwards we can start thinking of this."
Being a decent time trialist over short distances, Elia could also enjoy a stint in the coveted pink jersey, in case he'll limit the losses in the 9.7km stage against the clock and bag enough bonus seconds afterwards.
"I won't hide the fact that I think of it, but I'm also aware that if I go full gas for the bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint, then I can lose some energy for the final sprint. Friday's individual time trial will give us more answers. It's a bit too long for my taste and it will be a hot day, but I'll try to do my best."
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