British pro Adam Blythe is gaining experience in his second Grand Tour this month in the Giro d’Italia. In the first sprint in Parma on Sunday, his Omega Pharma-Lotto team worked for him.
“Days like that you can learn a lot from,” Blythe said. “There’s not many at all really [flat stages] this year, but I’m taking it day by day, I think in a couple of days’ time there will be a sprint again for me.”
The 21-year-old from Sheffield finished 81st in Parma. Belgium’s Klaas Lodewyck led Blythe into Parma and placed him near the trains of HTC and Garmin. Blythe moved into position with only five kilometres to race, but afterwards, he had little energy left.
“It was good learning,” he added. “When we start working together a bit more will understand each other better.”
Blythe and his team have until stage 12 in Ravenna on the east coast of Italy to perfect their lead out. Afterwards, the race travels into the high mountains of the Dolomites and the Alps.
He will assess his condition daily, but will likely abandon to focus on the second half of his season. He wants to win in stage races like the Ster Elektrotoer and the Eneco Tour. At the end of the season, he aims to make Great Britain’s team and help Mark Cavendish at the World Championships.
Next season, he will race in different colours. Lotto wants to split from Omega Pharma and form its own team. It may sign star, Belgian Philippe Gilbert and also Blythe.
“It’s a contract season, every team will be interested in Phil. I think if he wants to take me, he’ll take me. I am not waiting for Phil to do that, I need to look after myself. If he asks me to come somewhere, then I will listen to what he says.”
Blythe expects to sign for a team by July, but for now, he’s focused on gaining experience in a Grand Tour.
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Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports
Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule