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Owain Doull represented Team Wiggins before joining Team Sky, who became Ineos Grenadiers

Owain Doull will start the Giro d’Italia feeling his new team has been “like a breath of fresh air” that has “rekindled that love of cycling”.

He is in Budapest where the 2022 Giro starts on Friday, 6 May and relishing the chance to take on his former team.

“I’m loving it, I have to say. It’s very different to Ineos, but in a good way,” said Doull.

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He says the chance to compete in the sport’s highest profile events such as the Giro and Tour de France were significant motivating factors for his move.

Doull, who won a gold medal for Great Britain in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said: “If I’m being brutally honest that was kind of like the primary reason.

“I’d been at Ineos for a fair few years and I kind of felt like I was getting to the stage where I was banging my head against the wall a bit.

“Obviously they’re an incredible team and one of the reasons they’ve won so many races is because of the calibre of riders there.

“But that’s kind of what it boiled down to. I felt I was missing out on opportunities and I was deserving of doing those races, but it just wasn’t coming my way.

“I didn’t want to stop my career and not have done the Giro and the Tour [de France].

“I didn’t want to have any regrets so yeah, less than 12 months later I’m in Budapest ready to start the Giro.”

Doull also says his enthusiasm for the sport has been rejuvenated by “having these opportunities and being fully motivated to do the biggest races and take my own opportunities”.

As for the prospect of taking on Ineos, Doull admits their presence is always on the minds of rival teams.

“It’s interesting. A lot of the races are kind of primarily dictated by how Ineos will race,” he said.

“It’s always a factor going into a race because they’re one of the dominant teams and they always field a good, strong team for every single race they do, but no different if I’m honest.

“I think it’s nice having an understanding of how they work and kind of have an idea roughly of what they’re going to do.

“But it hasn’t made a vast difference – bike racing is bike racing at the end of the day. It can get over-complicated sometimes.”

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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