Astana team leader Jakob Fuglsang (34) expects he’ll target the overall classification at the 2020 Giro d’Italia. He also might ride the Tour de France in the service of his teammate Miguel Angel Lopez.
Fuglsang had probably his best-ever season in 2019. He won Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the overall title at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and a stage at the Vuelta an España. Unfortunately, he crashed and had to leave Tour de France in July, although he started the race as one of the favorites.
On Monday, he told TV 2 Sport (a Danish TV channel) he still wanted to give the general classification at the Tour another go, despite it not going too well for him the past couple of years. “But I think trying something new and seeing what I can do at the Giro would be a good idea,” he added.
Fuglsang won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic road race (when Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet was first). Now he also wants to see whether he can get the gold medal on a hilly road-race course in Tokyo, which should be perfect for his abilities. It starts only a week after the Tour in Paris finishes.
It is expected that Fuglsang will be part of Astana’s team for the Tour de France, but he’ll probably ride for Lopez like he did at the 2019 Vuelta. At the Vuelta, Lopez finished 5th overall and Fuglsang won his first Grand Tour stage victory, somewhat unexpectedly.
Fuglsang said it seems he’ll do the Tour to help Lopez, but “it’s really not 100% certain.”
In Fuglsang’s words, it looks like the Giro route should suit him, “whereas the Tour route […] should suit Lopez.”
However, “trying to ride for the overall classification at the Tour and then being fresh enough for the Olympic road race would be difficult.”
Difficult, but not impossible. Fuglsang took part in the 2016 Tour to support his then Astana teammate Fabio Aru, and then went and finished second in the Olympic road race in Brazil.
“It did work out pretty well last time, so it is a bit of a case of trying to recreate what happened then,” he concluded.
We wish him good luck and will be following closely all the events from the cycling world as usual.