Upbeat Knees prepared for final Giro push

30 May 2019

Upbeat Knees prepared for final Giro push

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Christian Knees is confident Pavel Sivakov can maintain his overall position at the Giro d’Italia ahead of a pivotal final weekend.

The 38 year old was key in Sivakov staying out of trouble in stages 17 and 18 when he used his experience to first bring a GC rival back to the peloton on Wednesday, before helping guide the young Russian rider through a technical finish on stage 18.

And while a pair of gruelling mountain stages will be a difficult test ahead of the final time trial in Verona on Sunday, Knees is upbeat about SIvakov’s chances of recording his best professional result to date.

He told TeamINEOS.com: “First of all I have to say the young guys have done a great job so far. Pavel is going really well and considering he didn’t finish his first Grand Tour last year, before the race I am sure he would have taken where he is right now. It’s a really good situation.

“We want to defend his place and if he comes out with a top-10 finish that would be great. There are still two hard stages to come where a lot can happen but he’s looking strong and the team is looking good. We are definitely up for defending it.”
When the team was announced for the first Grand Tour of the season, Knees was seen as a mentor for the youthful team - Team INEOS’ youngest-ever at a Grand Tour - but the German rider praised the mentality of his younger teammates and does not think he has needed to change his approach to the race

He continued: “It doesn’t really matter if I work for Froomey, or now for Pavel - experience always helps. Of course a guy like Froomey has experience himself but even then I can play a key part in the performance. 

“Here it was more about bringing my experience into the race and helping to teach the young guys a little bit around what to do, when to do it, and be a little bit of a mentor. It’s worked quite well. But I don’t feel like a Grandad!”
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General classification after stage 18:
 
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 79:44:22
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +1:54”
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:16”
4. Mikel Landa (Movistar) +3:03”
5. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +5:07”
9. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +8:21"

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