For AG2R La Mondiale’s Jean-Christophe Péraud and Domenico Pozzovivo, 2016 promises be a season of discovery.
At 38 years of age, the Frenchman will be taking part in his first Tour d’Italie, whilst the 33 year old Italian will be in the Tour de France for the first time next July. The two men will be together for the first time at the Giro, with the ambition of shining at the very highest level.
Péraud has decided not to take part in the Tour de France, in which he finished second in 2014, to make way for a race he really wanted to experience. ‘It would have been a pity to finish my career without having done the Giro at least once,’ he says. ‘It’s a race that fits my profile, with some great climbs and three time trials.’
The 2008 Olympic mountain bike vice-champion has prepared his project in minute detail, reconnoitring several times the major stages during the spring and in particular, Tirreno-Adriatico.
For Domenico Pozzovivo this is a great opportunity to get one back on his domestic Tour race. A victim of a violent crash last year during the third stage, he had to abandon a race for which he had some serious ambitions.
Domenico has a tremendous appetite for work, and has put in some serious training, in particular with a high-altitude session in Tenerife, Spain.
‘It’s a very difficult Giro this time, with a start on foreign soil. We’ll do all we can to get through the first week, looking forward to a strong second week with the long mountain passes that suit me down to the ground. It’s all happening near my home on roads I’m very familiar with,’ he explains.
Photo credit: Frédéric Machabert