Ilnur Zakarin's main objective is to win a Grand Tour
Oct 15 2017 07:50 pm CET

Ilnur Zakarin's main objective is to win a Grand Tour
Ilnur Zakarin's main objective is to win a Grand Tour
Photo of Ilnur Zakarin by Katusha-Alpecin

Ilnur Zakarin has affirmed that his biggest goal for the future is to win a Grand Tour. This year, the rider got his first podium spot in one of the three big races.

The Russian has been one of the riders to watch in the last years and he confirmed his talents in the last Vuelta a España, where he finished third. "The Podium of the Vuelta is a dream come true for me," he said to Spanish newspaper Marca. "I had already tried it twice in the Giro and now I could finally get it.

"The fact that I could achieve this at the end, almost at the last moment, made me feel even prouder. I really have to fight hard to get it."

The rider had a weaker moment in the stage of Andorra, which almost took him out of the fight for the Red Jersey. "If it wasn't for that stage I think I could have been a contender for the win. But on the other side, I had a bad day and that's part of cycling," he commented. "I'm improving in that matter. At the end, I wish to finish a Grand Tour without having a bad day. That's one of my main objectives."

Zakarin finished fifth in the 2017 Giro d'Italia and third in the Vuelta and he thinks this 'double' suits him well. "Other cyclists have shown that in the past. But it is true that it's easier to do Giro and Vuelta and be 100% because you have more time to recover in between," he explained.

"In the modern cycling it is more difficult to combine Giro-Tour or Tour-Vuelta. But Chris Froome is an example of the contrary. He's one of the few cyclists capable of achieving this. At least for now."

Talking about Froome, the rider also commented that Team Sky is a very good team, but not completely invincible. "They have a group full of leaders and even though it is always difficult to keep together a structure like that, they make it work," Zakarin affirmed.

"We could beat Froome, but it's not easy to beat Sky. But we won't give up!"