Johannesburg - Veteran cyclist Robert Hunter has set his sights on a solid performance at the Giro d'Italia, after winning the inaugural Mzansi Tour at the weekend.
Hunter, who rides for UCI ProTour team Garmin-Sharp, faces a gruelling challenge when he lines up against 207 riders who have been confirmed for the three-week stage race which starts in Napoli on May 4.
“My next challenge is the Tour of Italy which is a little bit harder than the Mzansi Tour,” Hunter said.
“I’m aiming for good results, but for now I’m back to Switzerland for a week and then head out to Italy."
A former stage winner at the Tour de France, Hunter claimed the yellow, green and African rider jerseys after concluding the five-day stage race at Montecasino on Sunday.
“The Mzansi Tour turned out to be a brilliant event and I’m happy with how things have gone,” he said.
Racing for the SA National Team, Hunter dominated the tour after winning the second stage, a 189km ride from Lydenburg to Middelburg, where he opened a gap of nearly six minutes over Frenchman Julien Antomarchi.
He remained unchallenged for the remainder of the race and was able to retain his overall lead.
“From stage three, there was a lot of pressure on us to try and protect the yellow jersey.
“We had a young team and I’m happy with how they’ve performed. They’ve been brilliant.
“It was a fight till the end and we prevailed.”