Andreas Leknessund can rightfully be regarded as one of the revelations of this Giro. The 24-year-old Norwegian wore the pink jersey for four days during the first week and is still fifth in the overall standings.
But although he already broke down quite a few barriers during this Giro, the Team DSM driver remains very calm. “I have nothing to lose in the last week. Of course I hope to finish as high as possible, but the Giro has actually already been a success,” Leknessund said in a press conference on the rest day.
The young Norwegian has amazed many people with the good level, including himself. “It’s going great so far. When I came to the Giro I didn’t expect to have such good legs, so I’m a bit surprised.”
Leading third week
The past Giro weeks were mainly characterized by the bad weather and the many dropouts. There is not really a duel between the classification men yet, says Leknessund. “There hasn’t been a hard race yet, I haven’t really been tested yet. There were difficult stages, but I have not yet reached the limit.”
Long before the Giro, there was already talk about the very tough last week that awaits the riders. Despite the terrifying profile, Leknessund is not afraid of it. “I am super motivated for the third week and I am really looking forward to it. I wonder how I will fare in the high mountains. Last year, the third week in the Tour went super well, I hope for a similar outcome.”
Transfer to Uno-X
There are persistent rumors that Leknessund will move to the Norwegian Uno-X team next year. However, he himself does not want to know anything about it. “It could be my last year at DSM, but I am sorry that those rumors are now emerging. I’m not going into it. So far I’m riding a great Giro, that’s all I’m focusing on right now. I hope to finish the game well.”
Leknessund has made quite a name for himself with his good performance in the Giro. In his own words, ‘a lot has changed’ since he wore the pink jersey. “I often hear my name in the hotels and people like to have their picture taken. I’m not used to that, but it’s all part of it and I really appreciate it.”
Leknessund is clear about his goals in the remainder of the Giro. “I have never finished in the top ten in a WorldTour stage race. If that were to succeed for the first time in the Giro, that would be a great achievement.”