One Week Later: Pavel Sivakov on his Giro d’Italia U23 Victory21. June 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA) — Development Team
It’s been one week go since Pavel Sivakov took overall victory at the Giro d’Italia U23 but, what did his journey to the final Maglia Rosa look like? We caught up with Pavel to find out…
“I was feeling really good going into the Giro d’Italia U23 especially after my overall win at Ronde de l’Isard. I felt really strong in France, and I proved that I can be one of the best on the climbs even against riders like Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal U23), who is always really strong, as well as my BMC Development Team teammate Steff Cras."
“I won by a pretty big advantage at that race, and even on the last stage, I was able to ride solo to take the stage win so, that definitely gave me a lot go confidence heading to Italy. After that win, the team put a lot of confidence in me, and I spoke with [DS] Klaas [Lodewyck] about the opportunity of leading the team at the 'Baby Giro.'”
“Immediately after Ronde de l’Isard, I started altitude training to get ready for the Giro d’Italia U23 and I think all of the hard work that I put in there really paid off. I had prepared very well for the race so, I knew I was going to Italy in really good shape, and I think I was riding at a really top level.”
“It was amazing to be part of our team for the Giro, and we all went into it feeling good. We are all really close friends, so there was a great atmosphere between everyone. We started off super well with Bram Welten winning the sprint from the bunch on day one and from there it just got better and better so, we were all in a good mood every day. We were up there at the business end of every stage, and I think we were the strongest team in the race.”
“The guys did an amazing job for me, and they were an important part of my win. Without them, I wouldn't have been in the same position. Every day they were controlling the race, and I took the jersey pretty early so, it made it hard for us but the guys did a perfect job. The gave 100% for me, and I really appreciate it. Now, I will be there for them in the same way if they need me.”
“Over the course of the race, I felt like I was improving day by day but stage 6 was the toughest for me particularly after the split stage the day before. Also, after each stage, I had the podium ceremony and everything that comes with wearing the Maglia Rosa. That takes up a little extra energy and delays your recovery, but I managed it well, and that’s also a good sign for the future. I have shown that I can manage everything that being the leader of both a team and of a race entails.”
“The team didn't put any pressure on me going into the final stage, but I definitely put some pressure on myself. The riders and staff were doing a fantastic job all week, and in my mind, there was no choice, I had to keep the jersey and win the race for them. I felt good throughout the stage, and I knew it would be hard for the other GC guys to drop me as the final climb suited me and there was a headwind. The two Australian riders from Mitchelton Scott waited right until the end to attack me, and by then it was too late to gain any real time.”
So, what’s next for Pavel?
“I took a few days off after the race to recover and to reflect but, now I can start to look ahead. First up will be the Giro della Valle d’Aosta and I will see how I feel, but we have a strong team set to race there so if someone is feeling better than me, I will give 100% for them. The guys have already worked so hard for me, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same for them.”
“My primary goal for the second part of the season will be the Tour de l’Avenir with the national team. It’s described as a mini Tour de France for the U23 category. I know I will most likely be one of the favorites just as I was for the Giro d’Italia U23 but, I have shown that I can manage this pressure and that I can perform at a high level so, I hope that my success continues.”