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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 after Race Interviews & Photos
By Staff
Date: 5/22/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 after Race Interviews & Photos

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 after Race Interviews
After race interviews, Saunier Duval/Prodir's Leonardo Piepoli, Gibo and Gianetti, Liquigas' Andrea Noe and Di Luca, Lampre's Cunego and Race Revelation Andy Schleck and more...

Stage 10 Giro d'Italia Live Report

Saunier Duval/Prodir
We can't help but starting our interviews round-up with stage winner, Leonardo Piepoli, that first thanked his team manager Pietro Algeri, who "like he did the past year, "forced" me to race the Giro". The "Flying Trullo" ("Trullo" being nothing else but the traditional stone dwelling with a conical roof that is specific to the Apulian area Piepoli is from ...) he thanked Gilberto Simoni too, "as he often does, Gibo told me to go: "in the worst case you'll make some selection". Instead I made the gap for real. I benefited from the marking amongst the main GC contenders, and I think the fact I was not one of them was definitely of help to me, as it's often the case in situations like this".

On with another member of the Red Bird Army that impressed so much in today's stage, getting all (their) three (top) men in the top five spots: Riccardo Riccó: "when I saw Di Luca attack I tried and followed his move, but as I looked back and saw Gibo wasn't there I slowed the pace and waited for him, because he's our team leader. Then I accelerated again, and set things up for his move. And Gibo did the rest. I think that we've got a great climbing team, and we showed it today. But the Tour of Italy has just begun, there's a long way to go, and we'll be all working for Simoni, who is getting better by the day".

After his two top lieutenants spoke, it was time for the Saunier platoon leader to speak out, as he always does: "Piepoli and his performance was not a surprise to me, they are a good gift to our team. I wasn't surprised by Riccó's performance either. He did a great job for real. He gave it everything.

"Did the real Giro begin today? Well, I don't think so, for we've struggled a lot already. Sure there's so much to go, and the best is yet to come". Words all the way from Gilberto Simoni's mouth.

The Saunier Duval-focused portion of the roundup ends with their Directeur Sportif (and former professional bike racer) Mauro Gianetti, "With accomplished riders like Simoni and Piepoli - as well as rampant youngsters like Riccó and managers like Algeri - in the team you can make plans only when on the road. Two days ago Riccó made a mistake because of his young age and lack of experience, resulting in all of us having a very hard day in the saddle. But we proved capable to turn the page and look ahead with the right attitude and grinta. Leo was aiming at making the stage hard and winning it if possible today, and we're very glad that he got both things".

After our due "homage" to Saunier Duval and their team performance, we continue with the other "big winner" of the day, the unstoppable Andrea Noé, who succeeded in regaining the Maglia Rosa at the age of 38, nine years after HE captured it for the first time in the San Marino stage of the 1998 Tour of Italy.

Andrea Noe, 38 and no stranger to the Maglia Rosa! Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

The legendary "Brontolo" (from the Italian brontolone: grumbler; complainer, as the man from the Milan area is well-known inside the bunch for complaining about everything ... but he's a very good guy nonetheless) admitted that "if two weeks ago someone had told me that I was going to clinch the jersey, I just wouldn't have believed it. Even though I was aware of my current good form, and that of the whole team too. But to take the jersey at the age of 38, even if not impossible, is a very hard task, you know. I'm very happy about it, it's like a ... career award for me."

"We of Liquigas lined up at the start line today with two goals: the jersey for me, and to make time gains on all other team leaders for Di Luca. And we achieved both, showing that we are a very strong squad. But a new Giro begins tomorrow, with all of us putting ourselves at Danilo's disposal". Brontolo may leave the spotlight to someone else soon, but today's stage had an impact for sure, as he promised that, "after realizing that I can still struggle like that, I think I'll make the decision to continue for one more year. Yes. I think the peloton will be hearing me grumble and complain the next season too ...".

His team leader Danilo Di Luca also paid homage to Noé's extraordinary accomplishment, but not without adding that Andrea will get back to his "perfect domestique" ways tomorrow. As for his own performance on the way to the second mountain top finish in the race, the man from the Abruzzo region of Italy admitted that he made a mistake by going clear too early into the final ascent, in one of steepest part of it; a move which cost him some precious energies, and perhaps also the stage victory, as without such an untimely move he might have had the legs to counter Piepoli's winning attack later.

"But one just cannot win always" he also said, while expressing his satisfaction with putting time into all other main GC contenders. Danilo's next objective will be to make further gains on the Simonis, Cunegos, Savoldellis (and Riccos? and Schlecks?) of the peloton in the Oropa uphill ITT, just to resort to his "defensive" tactics in the final week, starting with the tre Cime di Lavaredo mountain stage, and try and keep as much of a lead as possible on all of them.

Lampre/Fondital's Damiano Cunego
After proving unable to finish off the excellent teamwork Lampre put in, Damiano Cunego looked a bit disappointed in after-stage interviews, even if he didn't want to admit it: "I think the final ascent to the line today was more appropriate for the attackers (than the pure climbers)."

"Saunier have got some great guys, and their team tactics worked. But we've got a strong team too. And I must thank my team-mates because they took matters into their own hands, something nobody else wanted to do. Okay, I didn't have a great performance myself, and all those late attacks took a toll on me, but I wouldn't dramatize the situation. The race is still a very close one, and there's so many climbs left."

CSC - Andy Schleck
Last but not least the brand new white jersey holder, but notably the stage (and Giro) revelation, as well as today's third place getter. All of the above simply going under the name of Andy Schleck: the CSC hopeful from Luxembourg, younger brother of better-known (but for how long?) Franck Schleck, told RAI'S Alessandra De Stefano that "(Today's) was a tough, long and very selective stage. I snatched fourth place at the first mountain top finish (Montevergine di Mercogliano), but I didn't give it everything that day. Today I did instead, I attacked as I wanted to win. I didn't win, and I had a hard time in the last metres after Di Luca passed me and Simoni came close too, but still I'm very happy for both myself and the team, that believed in me even more than I have ever done. I hope I may continue like this and take this jersey all the way to the Milan podium."


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