Our website’s crew at Genoa for the start of the 87th Giro d’Italia had the pleasure
of meeting the only American rider competing in the first Grand Tour of the season, “Fast Freddy” Rodriguez. And had a brief chat with the Acqua & Sapone
fastman, who kindly answered questions from the Daily Peloton, in a fluent Italian that the non-English-speaking author of this
article hopes to turn into decent English. In any event, here is what the Daily Peloton asked him, and his answers.
Fast Freddy at Genoa. Photo by Daily Peloton.
So, Freddy, how did things work out for you in the prologue today?
Not too well. I had some problems with the bike today, the derailleur wasn't
adjusted properly, I wanted to use the "12" in
my rear wheel in the fastest part of the route, but it was acting up and wouldn’t shift. So I clocked a time of 09'15", that is neither bad nor good..
And what can you tell us about the upcoming stages? They certainly suit the sprinters.
If everything goes right, and my condition is okay, I'll have a shot. I think last year I had the speed to compete with Petacchi; and this time, with a good team beside me, helping me to save energies for the sprint, I think that I can a have go at winning.
Who will be the team's appointed sprinter, you or (Crescenzo) D'Amore? Or will the choice be made daily,
according to either rider's condition on the road?
I'm the team's appointed sprinter, but also know that D'Amore is a rider who can win stages, and I'm ready and willing to help him if needed. There are 11 flat stages that can end in a sprint finish in this Giro, so I think there's room for both of us.
Are you determined to make it to Milan and finish the race?
Sure I am, although I am well aware that the final week will be very difficult.
Fast Freddy at Genoa #2. Photo by Daily Peloton.
What are your post-Giro targets?
After the Giro I’ll get back to America for the US National Champs, one of my favouite races. It’s the first time I will
race a Grand Tour like the Giro before moving to Philadelphia, and if everything goes fine, I may be in a very good shape at
US Nationals. I always liked the National Champs, and I always liked wearing my country’s jersey.
Who do you consider as most dangerous rivals at the US Nationals?
The main ones are riders like Hincapie and Chris Horner. But there’s plenty of good riders in the U.S. They may be
relatively unknown here in Europe, but when they race in the America, they do well.
Okay. Thank you, Freddy, and congrats for your Italian.
Fast Freddy at Genoa #3. Photo by Daily Peloton.