The two clashed several times during last year’s Tour de France, with the Sardinian taking the yellow jersey in the Pyrenees only for Froome to take back in Rodez. However, they seemed on friendly terms as they shared the stage at the Tour of the Alps press conference, after both recently spending a long spell at altitude on Mount Teide. They are the biggest draw at this year’s Tour of the Alps, with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) their main rivals for overall victory.
With Vincenzo Nibali targeting the Tour de France, Aru carries the hopes of Italy on his slim shoulders at the Giro d’Italia. He missed last year’s Corsa Rosa due to a knee injury and expectations are high on the self-proclaimed ‘Knight of the Four Moors’.
Aru left Astana to join UAE Team Emirates during the winter and is keen to confirm that his 2015 Vuelta a España win was not a one-off. He rode aggressively at Tirreno-Adriatico but was clearly short of stage racing form and was then hampered by a muscle problem at the Volta a Catalunya and quit the race on stage 5 to avoid problems.
“I crashed on the first day and it was a nasty blow. Fortunately, I didn’t have any serious problems. I went to altitude for four days and my training didn’t suffer any delay. Now I’m curious to see how my form is. I feel good,” Aru said, as he swapped questions and answers alongside Froome.
While the Briton was also quizzed about his on-going salbutamol case, Aru’s biggest dilemma was about avoiding further bad luck and injury.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com