After beginning his 2023 season with a three-month seek for a brand new workforce, 40-year-old Domenico Pozzovivo is again on the upcoming Giro d’Italia and aiming for an eighth profession top-10 putting in Rome.
The veteran climber ultimately signed with Israel-Premier Tech in early March after his Intermarché-Circus-Wanty contract wasn’t renewed final season. He is already taken on the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, ending sixth, and the Tour of the Alps in preparation to steer his new squad on the Giro.
When the peloton rolls out on the Grande Partenza in Abruzzo subsequent Saturday, Pozzovivo will likely be doing so for the seventeenth time, properly greater than any of his rivals, and one off the file of perennial Nineteen Seventies Giro competitor Wladimiro Panizza.
Regardless of his standing as a Giro extremely veteran having made his debut in 2005, ‘the flea from Policoro’ is anticipated to be within the GC combine as soon as once more after ending eighth final 12 months.
“I am not competing to win the Giro. The aim is to go for a prime 10. That may be an ideal outcome for me, contemplating my preparation and age,” Pozzovivo instructed WielerFlits (opens in new tab) just lately.
“The Giro is essential to me, particularly as a result of I have not ridden that many races this 12 months. That is why the Tour of the Alps was an vital step in the direction of the Giro, even when I did not have my greatest days there.”
Pozzovivo, who completed fifth on the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and 2018, has had one of many shortest lead-ins to the race of his lengthy profession, having logged solely 10 race days up to now in 2023. Nonetheless, regardless of an absence of race days and a pre-season spent coaching with out a workforce, Pozzovivo has proven some type and is prepared for Might.
“It was good to essentially put in some deep effort and see how my health is,” he mentioned. “I additionally needed to achieve race rhythm, particularly the gear that you simply solely have in races and never throughout coaching. Then you may actually experience within the peloton with out stress.”
He mentioned that spending the winter with out a contract, and thus no workforce coaching camps or concrete objectives for the spring, was robust however added that his return to racing along with his new workforce was an ideal begin.
Sixth place at Coppi e Bartali included a fifth place on the hilly stage 4 and a second place behind the in-form Ben Healy in Forlì a day earlier.
“That interval was troublesome,” Pozzovivo mentioned of the winter. “Particularly when the season had already began. I needed to keep motivated then, however in the long run, I joined a very good workforce in Israel-Premier Tech. I am very joyful that I can race after this troublesome interval.
“It was crucial to get again to racing straight away and be aggressive as quickly as doable. That was the right begin of the season for me.”
Other than Alejandro Valverde final 12 months, Pozzovivo would be the oldest rider to tackle the Giro within the final 5 years. However he isn’t fascinated by his age and is not approaching the race as his swansong on the Grand Tour, both.
“I do not care about that myself,” he mentioned of his age. “I attempt to take pleasure in each second on the bike. I nonetheless take pleasure in my coaching periods and in competitions, I can present that I’m nonetheless in fine condition.
“Will this be my final Giro? It could possibly be, however I’ll solely decide about that after the Giro.”