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Edoardo Affini wants to show his best side in his homeland. “As a child I dreamed of being able to ride the Giro”, the Italian says.
Affini’s last race was the Tour of Flanders. “After that I took a few days off to recover from the spring. I have a reasonable amount of racing days in the legs. After the period of rest, I trained at home. I was close to the mountains and that way I could prepare well for the Giro. From tomorrow I will give everything, then we'll see how it goes. The confidence is there in any case.”
The Italian is clear about the goals for this three-week stage race. “The most important thing is that I can make an important contribution to the team’s goals. In addition, I would be very happy if I can ride a good result in the two time trials.”
The rider, who has been riding for Team Jumbo-Visma since this season, says it feels extra special to ride a grand tour in his own country. “That’s a big honour. This year the race comes close to my hometown. Family and friends can go and watch that stage. Last year, during my first participation in the Giro, I unfortunately had to abandon after a crash. I hope that this year’s edition will be better than the previous one in many ways.”
"This year the race comes close to my hometown. Family and friends can go and watch that stage."
“As a child, I dreamed of riding the Giro d’Italia”, the 24-year-old rider says. “Every time I got out of school, I would turn on the TV and follow the race intently. At the time, I looked up to the riders on TV. Now I am part of the pro peloton myself. That feels like a privilege. I think anyone who watches the race on TV now will feel the same passion for the sport as I did when I was a little kid.”
"Every time I got out of school, I would turn on the TV and follow the race intently."
“From personal experience, I can’t say that the Giro is a more beautiful race than the Tour de France or the Vuelta a Espana, because I haven’t ridden the latter two races myself yet”, says Affini when asked if, like many cycling fans, he considers the Giro d’Italia the most beautiful of the three grand tours. “A well-known slogan of the Giro reads as follows: ‘The hardest race in the most beautiful country’. I think this sums up the race nicely. I am almost certain that the Giro has the toughest course. In addition to the race, Italy has a beautiful landscape and many beautiful cities to offer. The Italians, who are crazy about cycling, also see the Giro as an opportunity to show the most beautiful side of the country to the rest of the world.”
“It is a shame that the role of the fans will be minimal in this edition. Racing in front of a roadside crowd is always extra special. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to starting tomorrow. If we achieve our team goals and I can also ride a good result in a time trial, I’ll be satisfied.”