First time Giro participant Chris Juul Jensen is back in action today when the Giro d’Italia restarts in Italy. While the Tinkoff Saxo rider is now competing under a Danish licence, the Irish stages were a homecoming of sorts as he grew up in the country and, thanks to his Irish mother, previously competed for the national team.
Jensen admitted to being overwhelmed by the reception he got during the race and also by his memories of living and racing in Ireland. At the finish of stage three in Dublin a young Irish journalist was stunned to discover that a teenager she knew years before was one of the professionals in the race; while speaking to CyclingTips Jensen spotted her, reintroduced himself and explained how he was part of one of cycling’s biggest teams in one of the sport’s biggest events.
Asked as to what his goals were in the event, Jensen said that he had two targets. “Considering it is my first Grand Tour, my primary ambition is to get through all the way,” he stated. “Having said that, I think it is also important that I make sure that the team can use me to my full ability the whole way through, to make sure I don’t falter already after the first or second week. It is unfamiliar ground as it’s my first Grand Tour.”
He is one of nine riders on the Tinkoff Saxo team, with two of those being designed leaders. He believes that both are in good shape and should perform well over the next two and a half weeks.
“It seems like Nicolas [Roche] and Rafa [Majka] are where they are supposed to be. Of course it is difficult to get a good idea of how the GC contenders are going when the there is no really challenging climbs on the course.
“Having said that, we finished fourth in the team time trial, which indicates the whole team is spot on.”