Colombian climber Nairo Quintana insisted on Thursday that he is in good shape to tackle a Tour de France-Giro d'Italia double this year.
The last rider to win both the Tour and Giro in the same year was disgraced Italian Marco Pantani in 1998, and when two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador tried to achieve the feat two years ago, he managed only fifth in France after winning the Giro.
"We've never before tried this wager but we think we're on the right track, with a training programme adapted to arriving at both in form," said Movistar team leader Quintana, who won the Giro in 2014 but has a best finish of second at the Tour in 2013 and 2015.
It will be the fourth time that Quintana goes for a Grand Tour double -- although this is the first time he will ride the Giro and Tour in the same year -- and he's been getting closer each time.
In 2014 he crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana after winning the Giro.
The next year he was second at the Tour and then fourth in the Vuelta and 12 months ago he was third at the Tour before winning the Vuelta.
"I feel this year I've got a little bit more maturity and resistence in the body. That's why I think it's the time to do it, when you're in a good physical condition."
The Giro begins in just over a week in Sardinia before finishing on May 28 in Milan.