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Matured Boswell ready for Giro debut

Ian Boswell is set to make his first Giro d'Italia start in support of Sky teammate Mikel Landa

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MILAN (VN) — Ian Boswell, after working for Sky’s Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, will line up in the Giro d’Italia in May sharper and more mature.

Boswell is set to make the start in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, on May 6, riding the first grand tour of the year in support of Spanish teammate Mikel Landa. Having spent time training and racing with Froome and helping Thomas recently to win Paris-Nice, he says that he feels up to the task.

“Froome and Thomas rubbed off. The biggest thing has been learning to be consistent. That’s the biggest thing to being a GC rider,” Boswell told VeloNews. He spoke via a spotty telephone line from a training camp on Tenerife’s volcanic Mount Teide, where he has been riding with Froome and Thomas.

“Before, I was sporadic, with a big training ride and then I’d crash and be tired. Or maybe a quick diet that I’d pay for. I learned to be consistent and to do things in moderation.”

Asked what, if anything, the big stars learned from the 25-year-old from Oregon, “The American fist pump greeting!”

Boswell is taking his work seriously. After starting the season in Australia with Froome, the two trained together in South Africa at altitude. Boswell then helped Thomas win his biggest stage race yet in Paris-Nice. Just like last year in several stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné, he rode at the front often, particularly on the Madone d’Utelle climb that he knows well from his training rides around his base in Nice, France.

“I’ve grown up and matured a bit,” Boswell said. “Compared to last years, the quality of my race schedule has been upped. I spoke with the team about having more WorldTour races if I need to do well in the Giro. That paid off, I saw that in Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya.”

For 2016, Boswell took aim at starting his second grand tour. His debut in the Vuelta a España last year went we well. With Froome suffering due to a crash, he had a chance to fight for a stage win in the third week on a tough day through Andorra and placed third behind Landa, then with team Astana, and eventual winner Fabio Aru.

“I’ve been a reliable teammate working my way up the pecking order. My goal was the Giro and it’s awesome to be able to have a chance to race it and support Landa,” said Boswell. “I am able to ride on the flats if needed for [sprinter Elia] Viviani, but also I’ll be there in the mountains for Landa. I know the last stages well from my training camps at Isola 2000.”

Boswell will travel to Bergamo, Italy, on Saturday. He and some of the Giro team, including Landa, will race the Giro del Trentino from Tuesday through Thursday. It is his last stop before the Giro, which kicks off in the Netherlands this year.

“I respond well to grand tour training. I want to keep working up the pecking order with Sky.”