The Luxembourg champion is only 24, but looks set to try his hand at Grand Tours in the same style as Bradley Wiggins and Tom Dumoulin
Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), winner of the Giro d’Italia‘s stage 15 into Bergamo on Sunday, recognises he is developing similarly to Bradley Wiggins and Tom Dumoulin, but says he needs time before racing for a Grand Tour overall victory.
The 24-year-old from Luxembourg sits eighth overall ahead of the Giro’s high-mountain stages behind leader Dumoulin and holds the white jersey by 2-25 minutes over Adam Yates (Orica-Scott).
“They [Wiggins and Dumoulin] are for sure the type of riders I’m looking up to, for sure, they have the same style of racing like me, or me like them, it’s just at the moment they are faster up hill,” Jungels said.
Jungels just won the stage to Bergamo, similar to Il Lombardia, and arrived to the pressroom with the blue, white and red national champion’s jersey on his back.
“I’m just tying to make it through this last week now, to learn. It’s hard to say what changes I need to make, you can change your body, but you can’t change your nature.”
Jungels already placed sixth in the Giro last year, wearing the pink jersey and winning the white jersey of young rider.
“I’ve been in the pink already, a couple of days in the white jerseys,” he added. “I don’t think I need to change much.”
He placed third in the time trial through the Sagrantino vineyards behind winner Dumoulin and Geraint Thomas (Sky) last week.
His issue, similar to Wiggins and now Dumoulin, could be his staying power in the mountains. Those riders put much effort into weight loss and time at altitude camps to improve. Jungels lost 3-30 and 1-22 minutes in the first two summit finishes in the Giro.
The final week, after Monday’s rest day, heads over the high Alpine passes. However, in his favour, as with Dumoulin’s, the race ends with a 29.3-kilometre time trial.
“It’s going to be a hard final week, like everyone knows, the big climbs are all in the last week this year. It’s going to be interesting. I think that out of the second row I can play a good role as well,” Jungels said.
“How am I different than Dumoulin? That’s a good question. I think that he’s going faster uphill, fast in the time trials. I don’t really know how to answer. He’s just stronger at the moment.”