Giro d'Italia: Last year's runner-up David Arroyo is in good form
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Giro d'Italia: Last year's runner-up David Arroyo is in good form

by Bjorn Haake at 2:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Spaniard realistic that battle for victory will be tough

david arroyoDavid Arroyo travels to Venaria Reale, Italy, on Wednesday for the Giro d'Italia (May 7-29). The Movistar rider hosted a press conference from his traditional visit with the mayor of his Spanish hometown, Talavera. Arroyo said that his preparation was going well, but admitted that there is a classy field at this year's Corsa Rosa. He also revealed a necessary change in strategy to previous years. At the end of May he will know if it worked out.

Arroyo has always done well in the Giro d'Italia, with three top ten finishes in as many participations. "Going to City Hall is a routine that brings me luck," he says about his pre-race tradition. He is quick to add that luck alone won't yield a good result. "The preparation in these last weeks was going the right way. I find myself in better form than last year at the same time."

The numbers confirm his sentiments. "I am two kilograms lighter than when I started the 2010 Giro," he explains. "This will be noticeable in the end, in the climbs, where I will be lighter."

Last year, Arroyo was second to Ivan Basso. Arroyo led the race until Brescia, with three days remaining. "I hope that in a month, I can be like last year and celebrate a good result. Last year we were one step behind the best." Arroyo says we, knowing that his team gave him tremendous support last year, when he rode in the pink jersey for five days.

Arroyo is not 100 percent sure of what he can achieve in the Giro this year, but he will give his best. "The objective is to be with those in front and I dream of fighting for victory. But I have to be realistic and I know that the level of racing is high. It will be difficult because there are quite a number of favorites."

Arroyo will tackle the three-week race with a slightly different mindset than in years prior. "In the past, I rode for a good general classification - but I had that margin to take a good break." Having finished second last year, he will be a marked man. "It is clear that this year this margin is gone and the entire battle will be a one-on-one," Arroyo says. He feels ready. "I think I prepared well to fight with the best."

The Spaniard is quite positive about the hilly and difficult Giro route in 2011. "This year, there are stages that I like. Long stages that wear you out." Some stages may look easy on paper but Arroyo is cautious about those, too. "You need to save your energy and need to be as close to the front as possible."

Arroyo has finished tenth in the Giro twice (2007 and 2009), before stepping onto the podium last year. This gives him good experience in the various route selections. "I think that this year, the parcours is a bit different than usual. In the first week, we go through mountains, with a mountain top finish. In the last ten days there is one mountain stage after another. I am saying this once more - it will be very important to save energy and to start the stages well rested, to have some options in the final days."

Arroyo was riding for Caisse d'Epargne last year, but his new Movistar squad is just the successor with a new sponsor. Like twelve months ago, Arroyo banks on the support of his eight teammates in Italy. "We nine riders who take to the start of the Giro d'Italia emphasize that we form a strong group." He details the variability of Movistar. "We have riders for the team time trial, for the flats, for the medium mountains, for the high mountains and for the sprints," he details. Arroyo will have to shine in all those categories if he wants to obtain a repeat result in 2011. He has done his homework, the road will show the rest.

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