May 3, 2010

Team Garmin-Transitions’ captain for the Giro d’Italia Christian Vande Velde tells VeloNews’ Andrew Hood that he is ready to repeat the performance of 2008 and forget the bad luck of 2009.

Christian Vande Velde - Tour of Romandie, stage 3

Christian Vande Velde is hoping that’s going to be déjà-vu all over again at this year’s Giro d’Italia. Well, sort of.

The Garmin-Transitions captain would love to see a repeat of the highly successful 2008 edition, but not last year’s hard-knock Giro, when he crashed out with several broken bones in the first week.

“I don’t have pressure, but I am definitely going to race hard those first two weeks and see where the cards fall. It worked out really well for me in 2008 and it worked out great for Wiggo last year,” Vande Velde told VeloNews. “Ideally, not break seven bones in my body. I just need to get through the Giro unscathed.”

Vande Velde, 33, became the first American since Andy Hampsten to wear the pink jersey after Garmin won the team time trial to open the 2008 Giro. He rocketed out of the Giro with excellent form and rode to a career-best fourth place in the Tour de France later that summer.

That’s in sharp contrast to last year’s Giro, when an in-shape Vande Velde crashed out in stage three, breaking five vertebra, a rib and his pelvis, and putting his Tour in jeopardy. Despite the odds, he came back and rode to an equally impressive eighth in the Tour.

Vande Velde returned to racing last month with Liège-Bastogne-Liège and completed the Tour de Romandie on Sunday, where he rode to 14th on GC.

Christian Vande Velde, Travis Meyer - Tour of Romandie, stage 2
For the Giro, his goals are to prepare for the Tour, but not shy away from opportunities if they’re there for the taking.

“I think that’s a good attitude to go in with, if something happens, it happens,” he said.

“I want to go in to do well in the prologue and team time trial, chase the pink jersey.”

Read the full feature.

More photos of Christian Vande Velde:
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