Betancur, Carapaz, Dayer Quintana and Sepúlveda comment on their feelings before the start of the ‘Corsa Rosa’ in Jerusalem on Friday.
PART TWO OF THE PREVIEW | De la Parte, Fernández, Pedrero and Valls
CARLOS BETANCUR (profile)
“My preparations for the Giro have been – well, basically riding hard for the last two months! I had to start my season late because the ankle was still hurting from my injuries in the Vuelta, and it’s just logical that I’ve found better legs with every race I’ve completed. I’m feeling in good condition before this race. I’m really eager to do well in this race – I’m yet to see what my real condition is, but on the psychological side, I feel really strong. The Etna mountain-top finish should be the one letting us know what we can really aim for in this race. My goal before the start, though, is trying to stay with the top contenders.
“We’ve got a very young squad, but we’re always willing to bring the Blue colours as near to the front as possible, and fight for the win at every stage that suits us. For me, coming to the Giro is a pleasure, since it’s the competition I like the most. Racing here always makes me give it my all, and I hope to squeeze every bit of energy I’ve got at this year’s race, too.”
RICHARD CARAPAZ (profile)
“After Paris-Nice and the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, I left for Ecuador to train in altitude. I feel very much ready to take on this Giro, and really willing to do well. I’ve shown with my victory in Asturias than I’m in good form, and I’ve got many expectations put on this Giro. My main goal will be to get a good overall result – it’d be nice to finish up there near the top guys. And of course, winning a stage here would be fantastic.
“Last year I already completed a three-week stagerace at the Vuelta a España, and that experience is always good when you take on another one. I feel more confident and better prepared for the challenge, and I’ll try to do my best. There are plenty of young riders here, chasing for a good result for the team, and I think everyone will have a chance to shine. We’ll try and make the rest of the Movistar Team, our fans and sponsors happy.”
DAYER QUINTANA (profile)
“I spent the month before the Giro training in Colombia and staying with my loved ones, which always brings you a morale boost. I headed back to Europe in time for the Tour de Romandie – I was feeling a bit sick there and couldn’t show my real condition, but I think I’m fine now, and should be doing quite better. My personal goal will be to get into the breaks and, should an opportunity for me to win arise, I’ll make the most of it. But, in general, the objective for us all will be to support each other – there are many strong team-mates here and working together is usually the key for success. I see them doing great – there are many youngsters, but also some experienced guys like Betancur and Valls and also brilliant riders like Carapaz, who should be strong enough to fight for stage wins or a fine GC finish.
“After three years I’m back at the start line of a Grand Tour, and it’s a big challenge for me. The first time might have been a little bit more exciting, yet this one is more of a responsibility inside the team for me. I got to know the Giro well in 2015 – it was spectacular. It’s a fantastic race, because of its routes and also the passion of its fans.”
EDUARDO SEPÚLVEDA (profile)
“I feel I’m coming to this Giro in good form. I hope to be as fit as it’s required to support my team-mates and seek for some individual chances. I’ve spent the last few weeks training at home in Andorra’s altitude, and later on raced Romandie, where my legs didn’t feel bad at all. I’m not setting any specifical goals on myself for this race, rather than enjoying it and trying to excel at some mountain stages. There are many beautiful routes in this course and surely we’ll have some good chances to do well. I think the whole team will be strong here, with talented riders like Carapaz and Betancur, who could claim a good GC result.
“I’m so excited to debut in the Giro; I’ve never raced here, but followed it closely on television and I’m so excited to have a chance to enjoy this race from inside – it looks fantastic. Many people have told me good stories about this race – I keep in mind this will be tough, yet its charm makes it more attractive than grueling.”