The Tour des Alps is back after the 2020 edition was canceled due to the Coronavius pandemic.
It will be a trial week for event winners Chris Froome and Thibault Pinot three years ago.
Form looking for form
The four-time winner of the Tour de France, at the age of 35, has not given up on dreams of glory in the Great Loop and wants to lift a gear after making a sensible debut with his new team Israel SN.
After a serious injury in 2019, “Froomi” was following form. The start of 2021, with disappointing results on the EUA Tour (47th) and Tour of Catalonia (81st), shows that there is still a long way to go to hope to reprise major roles.
“Although this has been a difficult week for me, I feel I have improved in terms of form and this gives me confidence in the future,” he said after the Spanish match.
“Having Chris on the team inspires us all to do better,” said Dan Martin, his Irish teammate on the Tour of the Alps routes between Austria and Italy.
“I will only go to Zero if I am 100%”
The five stages, from Monday to Friday, will be an experiment for Thibault Pinot, who is recovering from back pain.
The participation of the Frenchman from Groupma-FDJ in the next Zero (May 8 to 30) is in line with the sentiments of the former Tour du Trentin. “I will go to Zero only if I am 100%,” the 30-year-old Frank-Comtois assured.
The fourth, the decisive stage between Naturno and Pivo de Bono, was already discovered by Pinot on Thursday: “It will be decisive, not only the longest, but also the most important difference in height. The final ascent, a few kilometers away from the finish, is the hardest thing of the week.”
Current champions Pavel Sivakov (Inios), Alexander Vlasov (Astana), second in Paris-Nice in March, Simon Yates (bike exchange), Romain Bardet (DSM) or Nairo Quintana (Arcia).
Two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali had to give up after breaking his wrist last week.
The first phase will cover a distance of 140 km from Bresson, Italy to Innsbruck, Austria on Monday.