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Fabio Duarte: “I want to do a good GC in the Giro”

Fabio Duarte

Under 23 World Champion back in 2008, Fabio Duarte came to Belfast prepared for his third Giro start. Team Colombia’s leader for the three-week race, Duarte hopes to capitalize on his Giro del Trentino form and be one of the protagonists in the tough mountains of the Corsa Rosa. One of the most talented climbers out there, the 27-year-old rider made some time before the Giro for the following interview, for which I also must thank David Evangelista, Team Colombia’s press officer.

– Fabio, how are you feeling ahead of this Giro?

I am feeling pretty well. I have been waiting for this race to come from the day we got the invitation, so I am raring to go.

– Are you satisfied with your form and preparation?

Yes. Since November, I have started working with focus and determination for this Giro, making some focused work, physical strengthening, and I believe everything to be pretty much set ahead of the biggest fixture of our season.

– How important was the Giro del Trentino and the result you got there?

It was very important. I came to the Giro del Trentino (Ed. – Duarte finished 4th there) not just as a preparation race, but to give my best and pursue a big result. That’s because Trentino is a very demanding race, that I like a lot, but also because it was key for me to see where I stood in comparison with some of the big Giro rivals. I took quite a good final result, but above all it gave me confidence that I am where I wanted to be at this point in time. Afterwards, I made some more focused training on mountains and on the TT bike, because I felt that I needed a little more of both.

– With what goals do you start the Giro?

I will not deny that I would like to make a good GC, but my first goal will be taking the stage win that proved elusive in my other participations. I will need to stay focused and give my best every day: through that, GC results would come as a consequence.

– Is there any extra pressure on you, being the leader of the team?

You feel the responsibility, of course, but I would not say pressure. I have the utter confidence that I did everything to plan to get here in the best condition. When you know you did your part at your best, that gives you tranquility.

– What do you think of the course? Which do you think there will be the main difficulties?

The Giro is a very hard race from the beginning to the end, but everybody knows the sting is in the tail, as all the biggest and decisive stage will come in the final week. And the Zoncolan finish will probably be the toughest most decisive of them all.

– Which stage would you like to win?

I would pick two: the finish in Montecampione, because it’s the “home” stage for both myself (Ed. – he now lives with his family in the Bergamo area) and the Team, and the one to the Zoncolan – as that would mean that I am fighting for good positions in the GC. It will be a matter among overall contenders that day, and I would be very happy to be in that number.

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