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87th Giro d'Italia Stage One Interviews
By Fabio
Date: 5/9/2004
87th Giro d'Italia Stage One Interviews

Brand new Maglia Rosa wearer Olaf Pollack of Germany briefly chatted with RAI TV journalists (in fact he spoke German and someone in the Gerolsteiner staff translated into Italian) no longer after the stage end. He was very happy with his achievement, his more than excellent sprint, and with the work done by his teammates, and said that he hopes to keep the overall leader’s jersey on his shoulders until Tuesday’s first uphill stage.

As for Alessandro Petacchi, the “sprinter gentleman” stayed a little longer in front of the RAI cameras, at the end of winning but also dangerous sprint, after Robbie McEwen’s sudden and quick right to left move. Petacchi found the Lotto-Domo rider on his way, and almost ran onto his rear wheel, but thankfully avoided the impact, and easily came around the Aussie and left the rest behind to notch up his first win in this year’s Giro.

“Initially I didn’t notice McEwen’s move at first, then all of sudden I found him in front of me. When I started my sprint, I was beside him (McEwen), later I found myself on his wheels, and eventually came around him. I had quick reflexes and slowed down my bike a little, thought I had the strength needed to win. I think (his switch) is not in the rules. I don’t know how much a rider is allowed to switch (according to the rules), but things went fine for sure: had I not realized he was there, or even seen his move before and consequently accelerated, my bike would have bumped his rear wheel, and I could have hurt myself badly”.

Asked by RAI’s Alessandro Fabbretti whether the circuit was technical enough, Petacchi replied that it was “more dangerous than technical, with several turns, that obliged you to stay at the front of the bunch”. But besides pointing out the dangers in Sunday's sprint, the winner also had kind words for his domestiques "My team did an extraordinary job since the last ascent, with Cioni, Bruseghin, Codol and Gustov setting the pace first, they took the race into their hands; then the other four (team-mates), Sacchi, Tosatto, Ongarato and Velo, came into action, and they did an incredible job too. I think they showed what kind of riders they are, they were a match for the Domina train, and this victory certainly bolstered their morale too". Petacchi ended up dedicating his win to former teammate and friend Dennis Zanette, passed away in the January of 2003.

Mario Cipollini was one of the biggest losers of the stage, if not the biggest loser, but the “Lion King” didn’t sound (too) upset about it in post-race interviews: ”It was a good sprint, perhaps with a bit too many skirmishes. I first thought I was in a good position, but then got boxed by a few riders, so that's the way it all ended up” Cipo said almost without bitterness, and almost smiling. And again, almost echoeing Petacchis’ words: “The final circuit (around Alba) made for a good show, for the crowd at least. I think the huge crowd I saw (along the circuit) had fun, but it wasn’t the same thing for us: there were several turns, where we had to slow down the pace, just to accelerate again when we came out, and in such conditions we couldn’t take the race into our hands”.

His opinion of the Domina train was not as good as Petacchi’s opinion of the Fassa boys though “I think that the first day, after yesterday’s prologue, many of my teammates were not in a great condition but, again, that’s the way it all ended up today. Hope things will go better in days to come”.

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