As the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia draws ever closer in Pescara, German all rounder Lennard Kämna believes it will be a huge challenge for his team Bora-Hansgrohe to attempt to defend the title.
The German team won the Italian Grand Tour last year through Jai Hindley. However, due to the heavy amount of time trialling in the route, the Australian is sitting out the Corsa Rosa this year. Hindley is likely to ride the Tour de France instead.
Speaking to the media at the recent Tour of the Alps, Kämna explained that attempting to win the Giro will be a huge task when it gets underway this weekend.
“I think as a team we’ll try to be as good as possible again. I think it will be hard to defend the title, but the aim should be the podium I think for at least one of us,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be really really tough. Last year before the Giro we had a few setbacks with our leaders, but in the end they all came through really strongly.”
“Hindley [Jai] was super impressive especially in that last week, so in the end we could take the victory. It was a little bit surprising at that moment, and I think it will be really hard to win it again but we’ll try everything to be as good as possible.”
While admitting that he may not be able to match the likes of overall favourites Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) when the final week arrives, Kämna explained that it was his intention to record his best finish yet in Italy.
“I’ll go to the Giro and try to do a good GC,” the German rider added. “It’s not my intention to be in the top three or top five, but I just want to be up there, I want to be in the game and to show myself in that GC battle.”
Kämna finished sixth overall at the Tour of the Alps, and won stage three atop the colossal Passo di San Valentino near Bretonico.
Ahead of the Giro, the German rider will have taken heart from finishing 4th overall behind Roglič at Tirreno-Adriatico, before then backing that up with sixth in the Alps. Kämna said that he had taken great satisfaction from the recent consistency in his performances.
“I’m not 100% changing my training now from one year to the other,” Kämna said. “What I’ve been really trying to do is have some good buildup, and then consistency in my season. That’s been the key part for me."
"The last few years have been a bit up and down, and this time I’ve really tried to be consistent… It’s also a different task going to races as a leader and trying to do a good GC, compared to trying to go for breakaways and achieve stage victories.”
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