RIDER REACTION: 2019 Giro d’Italia

Sun 2 Jun 2019

As the first Grand Tour of the season came to a close today, we spoke to each of our riders to get their thoughts on the past three-weeks of racing:

Jack Bauer:
“It’s been a really enjoyable three weeks. It was a massive goal for the eight of us and a bbig goal for the whole team to support Simon. Maybe the race didn’t wind up the way we expected but it’s been a great three weeks, I’ve enjoyed it. 

We’ve worked really really hard, it’s been a great group to work with, so I think we can go home happy, with our heads held high.  I really pleased for Chaves to be back on the top step for a stage win and to come out of the race with something for the team.” 

Brent Bookwalter:
“Although the Giro didn’t finish the way I had hoped personally, I’m proud to have been part of this big effort and performance by the team. 

“A Grand Tour tests every facet and person within an organisation and it was a pleasure to be part of such an inspired and capable group. We showed strong team unity and strength as we rolled with the ups and downs of the race and I’m looking forward to building on this personally and with the team as we let this one sink in and move forward toward our next goals." 

Esteban Chaves:
“We arrived here with one goal, to put Simon as high a possible on the GC, I think we did what we could do and this is our result. 

“We are happy like always, it’s another Giro we have finished.

“It was a beautiful day to win the stage. For 12 months ago to now, we put a lot of effort and a lot of work and if we look at the whole picture the steps we’ve taken are really big.   Last year I was now close to not finish the Giro and now I finished healthy and with one stage victory in the pocket.” 

Luke Durbridge:
“I got a late call up for the Giro and to be honest I couldn’t be happier. The team was on it every day, I really enjoyed the team culture here, the environment. We race every single day. To be part of Esteban’s win and we had so many second places, and we really gelled well as a team. Now we’ve evolved into the GC team, even if it’s for 9thor first it’s always the same process.

“I’m really happy to be done now, I can’t wait to go home, but I wouldn’t have changed my call up for anything.” 

Lucas Hamilton:
“The Giro has given me a lot of confidence that I can climb with some of the best climbers in the world and that I can deliver for three weeks, which is something I have never had to do before. So for me personally, I think it’s been quite a successful three weeks.

“If we were in pink or eighth or ninth, we had the team that was ready to fight. It showed that we’ve developed as a GC team and we were one of the strongest teams in the race. If Yatesy thinks this is a bad results, it’s not bad, it’s eighth on GC.

“We’ve set a big standard, but we will win big races in the future.” 

Chris Juul-Jensen:
“The Giro is always one of the most demanding races and when you look at it from our perspective then we really showed our true strengths and a tea. When we are really pushed to the limit, that’s when we show that we’re one of the best teams in the world.

“There’s nothing more enjoyable than hanging out with your mates and our fantastic staff, which is like having a ninth rider in the bunch.”

Mikel Nieve:
“For me personally it’s been a good Giro, except a couple of days I had bad days, but after that I have been in the fight and trying the best I can for me and the team.

“Of course, we wanted more results but I think have worked well, everyone committed to continue the job and trying to do our best. It’s been a Giro to learn, everyone individually and as a team."

Simon Yates:
“It was a very disappointing Giro for me personally, although disappointing isn’t the right word, heartbreaking is more accurate. 

"I put a lot of effort into this, a lot of time and it has just not come together the way I was expecting. That’s OK, there’s always another Giro, another year and I will come back at some point and try again. You can always learn and we will do that going forward.

“The team were great. For sure one of the best I have ever experienced in a Grand Tour. Really on the money from day one and for the whole three weeks the guys were there for me. I was never alone at any moment, whether it was on the flat with the bigger guys or one the climbs with the climbers, they were really amazing.”

Photo courtesy of Kristof Ramon.