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Boswell’s heavy race schedule continues at Suisse

Ian Boswell says he's feeling strong motivated after his second career grand tour as he lines up in Switzerland as a super-domestique for Geraint Thomas

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Ian Boswell at the finish of stage 3 at the Giro d'Italia. Photo: Caley Fretz |
Ian Boswell at the finish of stage 3 at the Giro d’Italia. Photo: Caley Fretz |

MILAN (VN) — Ian Boswell is still racing after finishing his second grand tour with the Giro d’Italia last month. Team Sky called him in to support Geraint Thomas to win the Tour de Suisse en route to the Tour de France.

The 25-year-old from Oregon raced his first grand tour, the Vuelta a España, last August, and on May 25, he wrapped up his maiden Giro d’Italia. Sky rode first for general classification hopeful Mikel Landa until he abandoned sick and then aimed for stages, winning one with Mikel Nieve, who ultimately nabbed the king of the mountains jersey.

“To be honest, the Giro was a big and hard race, but I didn’t finish feeling completely nailed,” Boswell said ahead of the nine-day Swiss stage race. “It was different than the Vuelta for me because it was at the beginning of the season and mentally, I wasn’t as tired afterwards.

“It’s nice to do Suisse because I’m sure after this I’ll want a break and I’ll feel like I’ve earned it. Right now, I don’t feel like I’m ready to take a break.”

Sky had Boswell scheduled to race the Tour of Slovenia originally but then called him to join the top team racing to support Thomas. Another team is helping Chris Froome win the Critérium du Dauphiné, which ends Sunday. Thomas will race the Tour in support of Froome but with a free role to ride the general classification.

“I’m going to get back into it, look after ‘G’ in the first couple of days and then, if I have the legs, get him up there in the mountains,” Boswell said.

“I’m a bit more robust now that I’m older. The training that I did leading up to the Giro allowed me to handle the Giro well. They asked me on the bus when I arrived in Switzerland, ‘Aren’t you tired from the Giro?’ But I’m not that tired. I think the only thing I lacked in the Giro was my high-end fitness, maybe my form wasn’t at its top even if my fitness was good. Because of that, maybe I wasn’t active in the race as I would’ve wanted.”

Boswell rode in support of Nieve in the closing mountain days. He helped him long into the race’s highest climb over the Colle dell’Agnello at 2,744 meters so that he could grab points for the mountains classification.

After the race pulled into Torino, Boswell drove with his mom and girlfriend back to Nice, France. Along the Côte d’Azur, he had a light week riding, went to the beach and barbecued with his cyclist friends.

“I had no real training plan, just doing what I felt like. I felt mentally happy and fresh, ready to go out and rip it on my training ride that I did with Tejay [van Garderen] and Joe [Dombrowski]. I don’t feel like I’m just hanging on. Now, I feel ready to help the team and Thomas win Suisse,” Boswell continued.

“Froome is the clear favorite for the Tour. He has the experience and strength to win another Tour, but having strength and depth with ‘G’ and possibly Mikel Landa … It’s a big team. ‘G’ will be there to help Froome, and try to be there in the classification. It’s always good to have a back up option because if you look at the Giro, where we were left empty-handed when Landa abandoned.

“I trained with Tejay [BMC Racing], and he’s riding well and focused. I’d be awesome to see an American do well. BMC has a good team with him and Richie Porte. Richie brings a lot of experience to the team with information on how Sky races and he knows how Tinkoff races. He’s been on Tour-winning teams, and that can really benefit Tejay.”

Boswell will watch from the U.S. as he is taking a trip along the East Coast and home to see his family in Bend, Oregon.