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Ben Healy is set to stick to his attacking mode of racing in 2024 as his classics and Grand Tour plans for the season ahead emerge (Photo: Marco Alpozzi)

Ben Healy may have all the attributes towards becoming a general classification rider in the years ahead, but the Irish champion will forego any such aspirations this year. Instead, he will continue to chase victories with aggressive riding.

The 23-year-old lit up last spring with two wins followed by 2nd in both De Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race and 4th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Those successes were followed by many more, including an epic stage victory at the Giro d’Italia, where he was also runner-up on a stage and held the mountains classification for a time.

According to his EF Education-EasyPost team boss, Jonathan Vaughters, Healy will take on the Ardennes Classics again this season and will then return to the Giro. But he will focus on trying to win again at the Giro rather than aiming for general classification, which the team had considered.

“For the Ardennes, we have a super ambitious Ben Healy but we’ve got a broadly ambitious team with Richard (Carapaz), Neilson (Powless) and multiple options,” Vaughters told Global Cycling Network. “There are a lot of ways we can win in the Ardennes.

“For the Giro, we’ll go in looking for stage wins. We were thinking about a GC focus with Ben but his mentality is that of a winner, and he wants to play the breakaway game more than play the GC game.”

Vaughters said the team’s focus at the Tour de France would likely centre around Richard Carapaz, who won the Giro in 2019 and has since finished 2nd in both the Giro and Vuelta and 3rd at the Tour.

However, Vaughters added with Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel all lining up for a shot at the Tour general classification, his team would not aim for the overall unless Carapaz showed podium form.

“It’s not like we have to decide that now. He just needs to get himself back into his 2021 condition,” he said. “At that point, we can start making decisions. First, he needs to get back to that physical point.”

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