At the Quick-Step Floors team presentation in Calpe on Tuesday, Bob Jungels confirmed he will lead the team and target the general classification at the Tour de France in 2018. It’s the next step in what he repeatedly refers to as his ‘project’, namely his progression as a Grand Tour rider, where his limits are set no lower than standing on the podium in Paris in the yellow jersey.
Jungels, by his own admission, is not the purest of stage racers. A strong rouleur, he seemed to have a promising classics career ahead of him when he won the U23 Paris-Roubaix in 2012 but, as Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere pointed out, “he didn’t choose the ‘easy’ path.”
Having steadily improved his climbing, moving to Switzerland a couple of years ago, Jungels has finished in the top 10 in the past two editions of the Giro d’Italia, claiming the white jersey for best young rider on both occasions. Now he’ll return to the Tour de France, where the ‘project’ was born in 2015.
“I think I realised actually when I did the Tour three years ago, that I have abilities to be strong in the last week. Then obviously in the Giro I had confirmation,” the 25-year-old told Cyclingnews and Cyclist in Calpe.
“There are a lot of steps still to take but right now I’m on top of everything, I’m the leader in the biggest race in the world and now it’s time to shine.”
Jungels is buoyed by the recent trend of Grand Tours being won against the clock, rather than in the mountains. Tom Dumoulin, a natural time triallist, claimed a stunning victory at last year’s Giro d’Italia, while Chris Froome’s last two Tours have been secured without gains in the mountains.
Tour de France’s northern start suits Jungels’ skills
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