INEOS Grenadiers raced a very steady and controlled Giro d'Italia, opting with the same strategy always and having the firepower to make it work, and racing defensively. Geraint Thomas was then beaten in the final competitive day, but the British team looks to once again strike at the Vuelta a Espana.
"It was hot and incredibly difficult, but I learned a lot from it," De Plus told Sporza regarding team time-trial practice in the Barcelona circuit. "I was behind Geraint Thomas. It was moving forward, yes. I think he's okay. His preparation was good, but he's riding 2 Grand Tours for the first time in a long time. Then you have to temper expectations a bit, even if he was in his last Giro and Tour on the podium. This also applies to me: I'm riding 2 Grand Tours in one season for the first time. So I'm starting again with a blank page."
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De Plus has found very good form once again this season and was part of the team's Giro block. There (and not only) he was part of the mountain train which held things together for the Welshman. Despite being the third man in line for INEOS, the Belgian was still able to finish in the Top10 of the Giro d'Italia, but the win didn't fall their way: "The disappointment has lasted a long time. It was a big blow, but we have recovered and then the hunger is even greater to do better."
Now he faces a different challenge. He enters the Vuelta with a similar role however with other teams in a level superior to that of INEOS, they will most likely have different tactics throughout the three weeks. "We hope to race with an open mind and aggressively. And I myself will see if I can do damage."