Fabio Aru for Cycling Today: ” The podium in Paris would be a great result”

CyclingToday: Fabio, how different will be the preparation for 2016 season towards 2015, considering that the big goal will be now Le Tour and not Giro?
Fabio Aru: I have already started training and will go into training camp with the team in Spain. It is not decided yet, but I think I will start to run in February, also in Spain, and then concentrate my preparation for the Tour. Compared to last year, I will work to have 100% of form at the start of July and not in May

What you hope you can achieve at your first Tour?
I do not know, I will go to France to do my best without pressure. It ‘s clear that a podium would be a good result in the first year

With only 37km of ITT on the flat and so many mountain stages, it’s a route that suits you well, isnt’t it?
Yes, the track is not bad at all, but you must always keep in mind that even opponents at the Tour represent the top of the cycling world

You fought with Contador in the Giro and with Quintana and Froome in Vuelta, you are confident now that you can let one of these 3 out of the 2016 Tour’s podium?
As I said before, the podium in Paris would be a great result. All three are great champions, but should considered also other riders that in the Tour are always very strong, Bardet and Pinot just to make a couple of examples

Beside Tour de France, you had other goals for the next season?
The first objective is the Tour, and all will be aimed at the French race. We will do the accounts at the end of July and then we will seewhat to do

With the departure of Mikel Landa to Sky, who do you think that has the potential to step up now to be your wingman in the mountains?
Mikel was a great teammate and I thank him for everything he did. Tour I can count on the experience of Paolo Tiralongo, the soundnessof Dario Cataldo and on the strength of Diego Rosa, not to mention my other teammates will be with me

How it is to be a grand tour winner at only 25? It’s hard to deal with the pressure from the fans, press and team? This kind of pressure forced you grow as a person and as a cyclist?
I was always a quiet guy and the victories have not changed myself. The success at the Vuelta, of course, gave me more notoriety, but my life is still the same. I’m pedaling as usual without great pressure

What is your relation with Vincenzo Nibali and what will represent for you that such a big rider could work for you in the Tour?

I have been with Vincenzo at the Abu Dhabi tour in October and we had a loto of fun. Vincenzo at the Tour would bring added value and a man who can help me a lot with his race experience.