Fabio Aru determined to get back to top form after injury woes
Fabio Aru has hit back at those who think he will never again fight for victory in a Grand Tour, saying he believes he can take on young talents
The 29-year-old Italian has not enjoyed the same success of his early career since moving to UAE Team Emirates in 2018. He was treated for a constricted iliac artery this spring, however, and expects a full offseason to help him get back on track.
“I wish my critics would say things to my face, so that I can understand if they really know what I’ve been through,” Aru told La Gazzetta dello Sport after recently becoming a father and starting his preparations for the 2020 season.
“I know it’s been a long, difficult moment and I’m the first who is unhappy about it. But there’s an explanation for it all.”
“I’ve lost two years of my career but it wasn’t my fault. I’m also convinced that I can get back to my best, fight in major races, be up there on the climbs and so silence my critics.
“Of course, if I realise I’ll never be back to my best, if I struggle and can’t be competitive, Id be happy to step down a level. But I consider that to be science fiction because I know I’ve got the legs to be up there with the best.”
The 29-year-old Italian has a number of stage wins to his name, including overall Grand Tour win at the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, second in the Giro d'Italia (also in 2015) and 5th in the Tour de France in 2017.
In 2018, Aru left Astana, the team he’d been with for six seasons, and signed a three-year contract with UAE-Team Emirates.
What followed was a disappointing start to the season, a diagnosis of a constriction of the iliac artery and, in March 2019, angioplasty surgery, forcing him to abandon the racing scene throughout the recovery process.