Feature - Bob Jungels ready to tackle Tour de France again
Jan 17 2018 01:47 pm CET

Feature - Bob Jungels ready to tackle Tour de France again
Feature - Bob Jungels ready to tackle Tour de France again
Photo of Bob Jungels (c) Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Quick-Step Floors rider Bob Jungels is ready to face the Tour de France again after gaining experience in other grand tours in the last two seasons.

The 25-year-old from Luxembourg said this after the team's presentation at a hotel in Calpe, Spain, which CyclingPub.com attended.

Jungels rode his first Tour de France in 2015 but had not returned since. He did ride the Giro d'Italia in the last two seasons and added the Vuelta a España to his schedule in 2017. The rider believes that he learned a lot from those experiences.

"I think I have changed quite a lot compared to three years ago," he said. "I'm pretty sure I would have won a stage then if I had been a little bit more patient. Everything was super exciting. The first Tour de France was something unbelievable with all the media coverage. Through these two years in the Giro I think I've learned to handle all this. Even this year in the Giro, five days in Pink, it does something to you. It actually took quite a lot of energy, which I maybe missed on one or two of my bad days.

"I think you just gain so much experience by doing grand tours and that was the reason why I wanted to do the Giro and the Vuelta. It's the right time to tackle the Tour.

"The main purpose of doing the Giro and the Vuelta was just to stress my body to see if I could progress even more ahead of the next season."

Being from Luxembourg, Jungels represents a rather unique country in cycling which despite its small size has managed to produce big talents throughout the last few decades, including Andy and Fränk Schleck.

"It is probably also due to the size of the country," Jungels believes. "We have a pretty good sports system, I would say, and you just have to fight quite hard in the earlier years against bigger nations. I remember riding alone against six, seven guys from Italy, Spain, France or Belgium. It's much more of a fight than to have a team around you as a junior. That's probably part of it. But I also think it's much easier to take care of ten talented riders than 150. The individual support can be much more precise."

It wasn't always easy to operate in such a small environment however, which eventually made Jungels decide to move elsewhere.

"Luxembourg is such a small country and absolutely everybody knows everybody, so it can be tricky. It's something you have to manage pretty well, to understand what you can and can't do. This is also one of the reasons why I moved to Switzerland four years ago. At that time, the Schleck brothers were still in the sport's full spotlight and I didn't want to grow up in their shadows. I wanted to go my own way," he explained.

Jungels confirmed that while there was interest from other teams to sign him ahead of the current season, the decision for him to stay was easy.

"It's the environment here," he said. "It's something very special. I'm sure everybody in the team can confirm that the team spirit is like a family. I have the perfect way ahead to grow as much as I can. There was no need for me to change teams."
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