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Giro Rest Day Roundup
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 5/18/2004
Giro Rest Day Roundup

Rough Roads

Two riders were roughed up in yesterday's Stage 9 crash at 30 km from the finish - Intergiro leader Massimo Stazzer (Saunier Duval) and Colombia Selle-Italia's Freddy Gonzalez. Strazzer finished the stage, though tv images showed him in agony after the race, and he skipped his podium appearance as Intergiro leader.

Saunier Duval-Prodir reports that "Max" has no fractures to his clavicle, and after today's transfer day hopes to be at the startline Wednesday morning to continue defending his Maglia Azzurra.

Freddy Gonzalez did not finish the race yesterday, instead being transported by ambulance for his injuries. Colombia Selle Italia DS Gianni Savio commented on the first week of the Giro, saying, "The objective has been partially realized; although we have been in many escapes and have monopolized television coverage by our protagonism, we have disappeared in mountain days in which we should have been among the front group." The team started with eight riders instead of nine, and with the loss of mountain specialist Gonzalez, the team continues tomorrow with seven riders.

In the first week of riding, eleven riders have retired:

Sosenka Ondrej Cze A&S
Aranaga Azkune Andoni Esp Cho
Gadret John Fra Cho
Vandewalle Jurgen Bel Cho
Gonzalez Martinez Fredy Col Clm
Cipollini Mario Ita Dve
Aug Andrus Est Dve
Rebellin Davide Ita Gst
Gasperoni Cristian Ita Lan
Bennati Daniele Ita Pho
Dominguez J. Carlos Esp Sdv

Gerosteiner News

Two Gerolsteiner riders were involved in that 30-man crash yesterday - team captain Sven Montgomery and Stage One Maglia Rosa Olaf Pollack. Manager Christian Henn said that after the crash he ordered almost the entire team back to help bring Montgomery and Pollack back. This effort paid off, with Forster finishing 8th on the stage and Montgomery finishing with the same time as the winner, maintaining his 12th GC spot, down 1:47 on the race leader.

Henn said today's rest day was very welcome after yesterday's shakeup, stating that in addition, two riders, Gianni Faresin and Thomas Ziegler, are struggling with colds.

Saeco News

“I learn something new from Gilberto everyday,” Damiano Cunego says. “Damiano is giving me a big hand by sharing the responsabilty of the team leadership,” explains Gilberto Simoni.

Whoever expected a tense atmosphere at the Team Saeco press conference during the first rest day of the Gio d’Italia was left very disappointed. The two teammates showed yet again that the whole Saeco team is united: “I think that our rivals are afraid of us because they can see that we’re united,” Simoni said.

“And when I say that, I don’t just mean what we say in public but in the key moments of the Giro when our team tactics are our winning edge.” After a two-hour training ride on the first rest day of the Giro, Damiano Cunego was enjoying his moment as leader of the race: “I’m enjoying the enthusiasm that my wins have created and the also the affection I’m getting from the public”.

“I know I’m young, that I’ve still got a lot to learn but I also know that I can still improve a lot: for example in things like the time trial. My dream is to win the Giro one day but at the moment I’m not even trying to imagine that it could happen this year, even if it is clear that a change of generation has already started”.

Simoni is relaxed and in control, like all true leaders: “Damiano deserves a lot of respect and attention. Obviously I’m here to win my third Giro and there are no reasons to suggest that it won’t go as planned. If Cunego drops me on the climbs I won’t get upset, but that doesn’t mean there’s rivalry between us”.

Simoni’s number one rival for the Giro remains Stefano Garzelli: “I’m not going to lose sight of him just as I won’t lose sight of Popovych, but I will be watching Garzelli a bit more closely”. Simoni is clearly optimistic, just like Cunego. “Everything has gone incredibly well so far, the only bad thing is that I’ve lost my mobile telephone. Fortunately it’s not a big problem and I’ll get over it,” Cunego said. 

Regarding the rivalry between the two Saeco riders, the Saeco team spirit keeps them united: “We’re doing a really good job,” Team manager Claudio Corti said with a satisfied smile.

Fassa Bortolo News

Today's rest day was in name only for supersprinter Alessandro Petacchi, with press conferences and various other activities.

Petacchi said today, “My team is showing in this Tour of Italy just how strong it is. They pull every day for at least one hundred kms and I feel it's my duty to finalize their job. When I lose like yesterday, I ask to be excused by my teammates. I become angry with myself because I realized I mistook the time. We have analyzed the stage and we also learned something yesterday. I think that by errors so many things can be understood."

"If I had to weigh things, I'd say I'm very satisfied. At the beginning of the Giro I had said that three stage wins would have been a success. Now I have won four of them. Looking ahead at where I might win, I would say Treviso [Stage 12] because we will be racing in the home of Fassa Bortolo. But if things take a certain turn tomorrow, I could also have a chance."


Wednesday is Stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia, Porto Sant’Elpidio - Ascoli Piceno, 145 Km.

Tomorrow's stage is an undulating course that Tirreno-Adriatico riders should be familiar with. Weather conditions look favorable - it should be clear with temperatures in the 60 degree range (17C). The riders follow the sea on two portions of the course and breezes could be a factor.

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