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Thibaut Pinot wins by 15 seconds

Off the bike, preparations have perhaps been less than ideal, but having finished fourth at the Tour of the Alps, Chris Froome says he has enjoyed “a perfect build up to the Giro d’Italia.”

“I think I’m a lot closer to being ready for the Giro than I was at Tirreno-Adriatico and we’ve still got two weeks now,” he said.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training. It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it.

“The Giro is a whole new challenge for me and a new motivation for me too. It’s a huge challenge to target the Giro d’Italia after winning the Tour and Vuelta last year and it’s a huge motivation for me to go for my third consecutive Grand Tour win.”

Speaking about some of his likely Giro rivals who he raced against this week, he said: “I don’t think we can read too much into Tour of the Alps, as some guys won’t have been at 100 per cent at this race but probably will be a lot better at the Giro.

"For sure, Thibaut [Pinot] is in great shape. [Domenico] Pozzovivo is in great shape and [Fabio] Aru is not far off. [Miguel] Lopez is looking great and it’s a little bit of a taster for what’s to come.”

Pinot took the overall, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Froome and 15 ahead of Pozzovivo and Lopez. The Frenchman said that due to the quality of the field, he saw this as one of the greatest victories of his career.

"It was an incredible race, across all five days,” he told Cycling News. “It was five days of battle. There were no gifts. I'm really happy to write my name into this race, which, for a climber, is very prestigious."

The final stage featured three ascents of the climb to Igls which will feature nine times in the men’s road race at the World Championships in September.

Pinot said of the course: "I guess the World Championships are going to be complicated and difficult especially with regard to having a 28 per cent gradient stretch with a short descent and no time to recover. Today we did not cover this last stretch so it's very difficult to imagine how it's going to be, but my feeling is this will be one of the hardest and toughest world championships in a long time.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.