Giro d’Italia: Stetina feeling upbeat in first Grand Tour
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Monday, May 09, 2011

Giro d’Italia: Stetina feeling upbeat in first Grand Tour

by Shane Stokes at 7:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia
 
Garmin-Cervélo rider aiming to show well in mountains

Peter StetinaYoung American pro Peter Stetina is looking forward to the chance to see how he measures up against some of the peloton’s best riders on the mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia. The 23 year old is feeling upbeat at this early point in the race, and is using the first few days to settle in prior to the climbs.

“I’m feeling real good,” he told VeloNation prior to the start of stage two. “I have raced a lot this year and the form is good. I am just taking it day by day because I have never done a Grand Tour before. I am just going to enjoy it, enjoy the process, all the people. We are going to ride for Tyler on the front for a couple of the days, then I will get to do my thing in the mountains. We will see how it all shakes out.”

Stetina finished a promising eleventh in last year’s Amgen Tour of California, and showed his form was on the rise when he was 27th in his pre-Giro warm-up, the Tour of Romandie. General manager Jonathan Vaughters will be keen to see how he fares in the Italian event.

Stetina is primarily playing a support role, but should also have the chance to test his strength. “Christophe Le Mevel is our GC rider hoping for a top ten in the race,” he explained. “If I can stay with him as long as I can, I’m going to have a great ride. I’d like to get some kind of a stage placing, especially on a hard day. I want to show what I can do, show my value. There is a lot of ways to do that in this race. We are going to target a couple of stages here and there.

“Personally, I like the look of any of the eight mountain-top days. Probably the first one – it is nice and short, and comes early on. I think I am going to be crawling on all fours after fourteen days…I have never done that, the longest race I have ever done is ten days.

“There is a 100 kilometre day with just two big climbs, mountain-top finish - I am going to look at that first.”

What’s exciting for a rider in Stetina’s position is that once they get through their first Grand Tour, they should automatically become stronger for the years ahead. Recovery will improve, and so too their fitness. “The next step in my career is to grow the motor,” he acknowledged. “Goal number one is to finish the race, for the team and for me. To get to Milan, soak up all the recovery, enjoy the off time. There are no races for us to do during the Tour, then come back later in the year.”

He’ll have sufficient time to recover from the Giro, allowing the accumulated kilometres and hours of effort to bring his body to the next level. He’ll then build up towards a target that he is very motivated about.

“I will do the Quiznos Pro Challenge, that is my big goal. Colorado home boy, altitude climbing, that is where it is at,” he said. “It is great to have the race there…there is a lot of family history, my dad [Dale Stetina] won the race twice when it was the Coors Classic. It’s in my home state and with all the friends and family there, that is the pinnacle there for me, for sure.”

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