Garmin's Le Mevel: Pink jersey or top 10
Garmin, stage two, Criterium International 2011
Christophe Le Mevel is French and has finished 10th in the Tour de France, but he's turned his attention to Italy and its national tour this month after joining team Garmin-Cervélo.
"The Giro is special for every rider, but for me, it's more even more so, I met my wife here in 2005 and I won my first race two days later," he told Cycling Weekly.
"I've been 10th in the Tour, it's important, but my heart is with the Giro. Without the Giro, I would not have won that stage or met my wife."
His wife is from Bergamo and worked for photographer Roberto Bettini. Ahead of his win in the Giro's stage 16 to Varazze, she gave him a bracelet she said would bring him luck.
Le Mevel won the stage when riding in the green colours of French team Crédit Agricole. In fact, he has raced in French teams since becoming professional in 2002. It's only this year he's made the switch to Jonathan Vaughters' American team and returned to the Giro d'Italia.
Vaughters hired Le Mevel to have a French rider in the team, but also because he's talented. Though the team-mate David Millar held the leader's pink jersey, the squad is riding for 30-year-old Le Mevel.
Le Mevel meets the press
"It's not possible for me to race the Tour de France, there are a lot of sprinters and the green jersey is important. Plus, there's Christian Vande Velde for the overall. The Giro gives me an opportunity to be a leader," Le Mevel said.
"I would like to finish in the top 10. Two days ago [in Rapallo], I could have taken the jersey, but I wanted to work for David Millar because he'll help me out later, I'll get my chance."
Le Mevel added that even though he's thinking about the classification, he will take opportunities when they come.
"If I can stay near the front on the stage to Montevirgine on Friday, I'll win the pink jersey. Also, if I see that I am not in contention for the overall in the third week, I'll go for a stage win."
He finished fourth today in Orvieto. He trails overall leader Pieter Weening of team Rabobank by five seconds, just behind HTC's Marco Pinotti and Kanstantsin Siutsou.
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Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage reports
Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa
Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line
Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash
Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead
Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro's opening team time trial
Giro d'Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d'Italia 2011 stage five live text updates
Follow the 2011 Giro d'Italia live with Cycling Weekly
Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d'Italia 2011: TV schedule
Giro d'Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule
Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index