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Bob Jungels: “I want to improve my climbing skills”

As a U23 rider, Bob Jungels won Paris-Roubaix, Flèche du Sud, Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and the National Championships, and people were already saying he can be one of the best riders in the peloton in the years to come. Then, in 2013, he became a pro with RadioShack-Leopard and didn’t fail to impress, scoring four wins and showing that he can also climb very well, not only time trial, in races like Critérium International or Clasica San Sebastian.

Now, Bob Jungels is preparing for the new season and his expectations are high, especially when it comes to stage races. Thanks to Tim Vanderjeugd, the press officer of Trek Factory Racing, I got in touch with Bob before the holidays and got to know more from him about his schedule and goals for 2014, a year in which he will get many opportunities to shine.

– Bob, you got a win in one of your first races as a pro. How was that feeling? What were you thinking when crossing the line first in the GP Nobili?

My first victory was of course exceptional for me, it was a big surprise and of course I was super happy with it! I couldn’t really believe that I won after such a long breakaway, but the feeling on the line was amazing. I’ll remember that day for a long time!

– Another important moment for you this year was riding Paris-Roubaix. How was it, do you want to come back in the future or forget about it?

Paris-Roubaix was one of the best experiences for my this year. We had obviously a lot of pressure with Fabian as leader and in the end everything went well! I won’t forget about it, but I think I’ll focus more on the Ardennes Classics in the next years, I think these races suit me better and I will maybe have more chances to get a good result as in Flanders or Roubaix. But I won’t close that door for the future.

– In September you’ve raced at the World Championships. Tell me, how did you live that experience?

The Worlds have been a mixed experience for me, I was really excited about it and I was happy to be part of the team time trial team. The individual time trial was a bit disappointing for me as I did not really recovered from the TTT and the road race has been really hard due to the conditions. I crashed two times and was forced to give up the race. I really don’t like pulling out of races, especially if it’s the Worlds, so the disappointment was big, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s Worlds.

– You’ve had a total of four wins this year. Which of these was the best one?

The victory in Nobili and the fifth stage in the Tour of Luxembourg have been the “best” ones. Every victory is of course nice, but I think the way I won these two races made them special. Also, I’m very happy for progressing a lot on my tactical level and on my general skills in the races.

– After this year, in which direction are you heading to: one-day races or stage races?

I will focus more on the stage races and the hard one-day races, such as the Ardennes Classics or the Clasica San Sebastian.

– And what objectives do you have for 2014?

I would like to get more experience in World Tour stage races, like Paris-Nice, and why not, in a Grand Tour. To be competitive in the Grand Tours, I need to improve my climbing skills, I think that will be the main focus, but of course I’d like to improve also my time trial.

– Do you know your programme for the first months of the season?

Yes, I will start in the Tour of Dubai and then I’ll go to the Tour Méditerranée, Paris-Nice, Critérium International, Tour of Basque Country, Ardennes Classics, Tour of California and Tour of Luxembourg.

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