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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18 Team & Rider Reactions
By Staff
Date: 5/27/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18 Team & Rider Reactions

93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18  Team & Rider Reactions
Teams and Riders comment on the stage and final three days of racing...  Photos

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

Gilberto Simoni is honored before the start of stage 17. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

Greipel Connects

André Greipel stormed to victory in stage eighteen of the Giro d'Italia, taking his twelfth win of the season for HTC-Columbia in a spectacular bunch sprint in the city of Brescia. The German fastman's powerful last acceleration gained him a comfortable two bike-length margin over second-placed Julian Dean of New Zealand by the finish, and Greipel was so far ahead, he could free- wheel across the line as he celebrated his victory.

Final sprinters stage taken in style by Andre Greipel, with a bike length to spare.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

"This win took a long time coming, I was sick at the start of the race. It was very hard at times but I kept on going," a delighted Greipel said afterwards. "Today has made all that effort worthwhile. The team trusted me throughout, and today's stage win was the ideal finish for a great performance by the whole squad. I'm very proud of them. The Giro is certainly ending the way I wanted it to."

"We had our eye on this stage for André for a long time, and although that meant more pressure for him and for the team, we made really sure everything was in place so he could try to win it," added HTC-Columbia sports director Tristan Hoffman.
"There was a breakaway, but we made sure they never had too big a gap ahead, and his team-mates looked after him throughout the stage and kept him out of the wind. It was his win, but the whole team made a big contribution."

Greipel's victory is the second of his career in the Giro d'Italia and his fifth in a Grand Tour, as well as being the twenty-sixth of the season for HTC-Columbia men's team in 2010.

Spanish Cool - Man in Pink David Duran Arroyo Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

Lampre/Farnese Vini
Danilo Hondo 5th in the last sprinters stage

Danilo Hondo battled to give Lampre-Farnese Vini the victory that it's still missing... the sprinter managed 5th place with Damiano Gunego tenth.

"I knew it was my last chance and so I tried to stay at the front of the bunch in the last kilometer, searching for a good slipstream - Hondo explained - There was battle for the position before the sprint and so I couldn't find an opening.  I followed Pozzato, but he didn't start the sprint and so I began mine too late."

New Stage 16 Video:
On the team website: the video recorded during the time trial at Plan de Corones followed on moto behind Marco Marzano. For fans a treat that brings you into the heart of the 16th stage!

Bbox Bouygues Telecom
William Bonnet 10th place.

Dominique Arnould analyzed todays finish... 
 "We did everything to properly protect William. The guys have done our best. There was a lack of riders who could really lead for William for the  victory; he was alone. He put in a strong effort; but was blocked by a rider in the final. His 10th place, is a creditable result. "

The next two days will be completely different for the riders in turquoise...  Dominique Arnold did not disagree: "We will attack in the next two big stages, perhaps the most difficult. The Giro is going to play out there. For us, we will try to get in the break in the morning, so cross your fingers. Yuriy Trofimov suffers from bronchitis, we therefore will rely primarily on Johann Tschopp and Thomas Voeckler. "

Cervélo TestTeam
Cervélo got all nine of its men safely to the line in what’s the last respite before two punishing days in the northern mountains of Italy and the final time trial in Verona that will decide the overall battle for the pink jersey in the 2010 Giro.

Cervélo team captain Carlos Sastre (ESP) remains poised for a run at the top-3 Giro podium, but Cervélo sports director Alex Sans Vega admitted it won’t be easy...

“Right now, Liquigas and Caisse d’Epargne are very strong and they will work together to control the race. We still have options and we have not thrown in the towel. The ambiance on the team is optimistic,” Sans Vega said. “Carlos knows the climbs like the Gavia and Mortirolo from previous Giros, and they suit him better than climbs like the Zoncolan. We hope he will have good legs.”

Spanish climber, David Arroyo, complicates the fight for the pink jersey. He has stubbornly held onto the leader’s jersey since he joined Sastre in the big breakout to L’Aquila in the Giro’s second week. Despite losing time over the weekend, Arroyo maintains a substantial lead. That means that Liquigas will have to try to wrestle away the jersey from Arroyo, and perhaps create an opening for Sastre.

“Liquigas has to make the race hard from the beginning of the stage if they want to gain time on Arroyo. They cannot wait until the final climbs because Arroyo is a strong climber,” Sans Vega said. “Liquigas will also be watching Carlos and I doubt they will give him too much freedom. Everyone knows Carlos is a dangerous rider, and if you give him one minute, that can quickly turn into two or three. We will certainly try if the opportunity is there.”

Carlos Sastre on the final three days...
"Perhaps this has been the flattest stage of this Giro, even though the first part we rode in the rain, before the sun finally came out, and always with a high rhythm just so we wouldn't change the habits of this Giro. We're getting close to the last part of the Giro, which I believe is the most important, the hardest and most decisive of this race. In principle, there are a line of riders who are in great form right now, but anything can happen in these two stages due to the extreme difficulty of the stages."

Sans Vega said all of his Cervélo troops are back in top condition following some struggles in the Giro’s second week, and they’re ready and motivated to help Sastre make a push for the podium.

“Gustov had some problems with his ankle, he’s better. Cuesta was suffering some stomach problems, but he’s back at his best. And Tondo, too, is feeling better after a few days with fever,” he said. “The team is very motivated for this weekend. Like I’ve said from the beginning, this final weekend is going to be one of attrition, not of attacks. Carlos is always very good at hanging on, so I think the favorites will start falling back, so anything is possible.”

The 93rd Giro continues Friday with the 195km 19th stage from Brescia to Aprica. The stage features four rated climbs, including the fearsome Mortirolo summit with 33km to go. After a harrowing descent, the stage finishes atop the short but steep climb to Aprica.

Current Cervélo TestTeam Rankings:
5th Carlos Sastre (ESP) +0:04:41
22th Xavier Tondo (ESP) +0:29:13
52th Marcel Wyss (SUI) +1:21:38
68th Volodymir Gustov (UKR) +1:45:42
93th Íñigo Cuesta (ESP) +2:10:10
111st Daniel Lloyd (GBR) +2:31:13
117th Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU) +2:36:08
125th Ted King (USA) +2:46:17
147th Gabriel Rasch (NOR) +3:12:45

Team Milram
Förster 16th in sprint after broken chain

Robert Förster ended the 18th stage of this year's Giro d'Italia with an unlucky 16th place after the sprinter dropped his chain in the mass sprint.

Robert Förster...
"With 300 meters to go, my chain slipped off. I couldn't do anything and of course the sprint was over for me. I would surely have finished quite far ahead," said a frustrated Robert Förster. "That is so irritating. I felt good and that was the last chance for the sprinters.“

Linus Gerdemann Optimistic...
Linus defended his 13th on G.C. despite still suffering from bronchitis, was optimistic about the upcoming Alpine stages the next two days. "I hoped that I could  recover a bit on today's stage. Now there are two incredibly hard mountain stages on the program. We'll just have to see what the next days bring,“ said the Milramcaptain after the stage.f Australia is fourth.

Friday's stage is one for the climbers. On the 19th stage over 195 km from Brescia to Aprice, there are two category one climbs and one category two climb. In the final there is a 14 km long closing climb.

Team Saxo Bank
Sprinter, Lucas Sebastian Haedo 7th

”Fifteen kilometers to go, Lucas (Haedo) had mechanical problems and was destined to change bikes and chase the peloton in order to get up there before the sprint. However, he managed not only getting back;  but also bring home a top ten which is really impressive and it only underlines that our riders are really fighting for every result they can lay their hands on. The weather forecast for the next two stages is pretty bad and it looks to be quite a cold ride to the top of the climbs. We are confident that Richie is ready for the challenge,” said sports director Dan Frost after the stage.

There are no changes in the top of the overall rankings where Team Saxo Bank's Richie Porte is still third overall before the coming challenges in the mountains.

Stage 17 Comments
Team Milram
Markus Fothen 14th - Linus Gerdmann Hampered by Bronchitis

Markus Fothen showed himself competitive on the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia. The MILRAM allrounder was the day's escape group and didn't fall back until the final climb; in the end, he was 14th over the finish line. His teammate Linus Gerdemann, who continues to be handicapped by bronchitis, came to the finish with the first chase group. the captain of the Milram team lost only one place in the overall rankings and is now 13th.

D.S. Christian Henn on the stage...
"Markus Fothen put in a good performance today. Unfortunately it wasn't enough on the closing climb. We absolutely wanted to be in the escape group, so it was okay.“ That was hard work today. Since Linus Gerdemann came into the stage sick, we rode today with only three men for all intents and purposes. Things went better for Linus than expected. We will continue to see day by day how it goes with him."

Giles Belbin's Parcours Preview Week 3
93rd Giro d'Italia - Favorites Preview
Giro d'Italia - Big Mountains
2010 Giro d'Italia Team & Rider Start List
2010 Giro d'Italia - At a Glance
93rd Giro d'Italia - Start List

Stage 1  ITT
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4 TTT
Stage 5 Report
Stage 6 Report
Stage 7 Report
After Stage 7 Interviews
Stage 8 Report
Stage 9 Report
Stage 10 Report
Stage 11 Live
Stage 11 Interviews
Stage 12 Live
G.C. After Stage 12
Stage 13 Live
Stage 14 Report
Stage 15 Live
Stage 16 ITT Live
Stage 16 Results
Stage 16 Reactions
Stage 16 G.C
Stage 17 Live
Stage 17 Results
Stage 17 C.C.

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