Itzulia last year was building to LBL not Vuelta. So my comparison stands.
LBL as a prime objective will be tough this year. He has said so himself. Because of timing with altitude camps. That is in fact similar to San Sebastián last year. Then again, he managed that pretty well…
Defending champion and it being one of the biggest races he can win, with him being Belgian as well, I find it hard to believe he wont be close to his best here. He will want to win it again and should be a big target. Probably just trying to play down expectations since he has won LBL already and the Giro being the biggest target this season, but I am quite sure he would want to win LBL. He wins it his season would would already be a success in a way.
Going all in one race, the Giro, and potentially failing with the rest of the season ending with zero big wins would be quite bad for him.