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By Fabio
Date: 5/14/2002

STEFANO GARZELLI: "Every stage may be insidious and you can find dangers here and there, and today we got strong wind and rain that could have made some damage. So I'm very glad that we got to the finish without any serious trouble. I just asked my teammates to keep inside the peloton and protect the pink jersey, and they did it in a good way. Even Robert Hunter did, he's a good sprinter but today he too worked for me and the team".

Mario Cipollini: As usual (at least as often after one of his triumphs, and even more frequently since the man moved to Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo) the Lion King was full of praises for his teammates and their perfect leadout work "It was a difficult stage. The route proved to be not as easy as one might think, and the adverse weather condition made things worse but ..." but ? " .. but you have seen what a great team I have !! Their professionality is unbelievable, I don't even need to give them orders and instructions in the final part of the races, as they all know by themselves what to do. I found truly professional riders to help me, and in the end of the rides I do my share of the work, as at the age of 35 I'm still able to do something good".

Asked one quite obvious question (that is: asked about how long he will continue ...) The Lion King (Tiger King in last Saturday's prologue) said "I feel very big emotions everytime I have this kind of rides, I feel enthusiast, and I think I can go on as long as there is such an enthusiasm. It's a matter of will rather than age only. But as for the not so near future, I have this contract linking me to Acqua e Sapone for two seasons, then we'll see".

Asked another quite obvious question (that is: asked about his chances at the next World Championships in Zolder, whose easy course, as many of you already know, particularly suits the fastest wheels of the peloton ...) he replied by saying "Zolder is still far, but as I'm feeling in a good shape now, I hope I may be in the same condition, or even a betetr one, when in Belgium".

Massimo Strazzer: Phonak's fastest man (and new leader of the Intergiro classification, which he won in 2001) was quite satisfied even if he didn't clinch stage victory "But I came close to win. The team worked perfectly for me, and I'm happy as I'm taking somesatisfactions after the disppointments I had last year. I didn't win, but the winner was the best sprinter of all time, and I'll have more chances at my disposal starting from tomorrow's stage, that's for sure ".

Franco Pellizotti: Italy's (and Alessio's) most prominent young rider said "I had a quiet day today, I'm here to get a little more experienced, and so is my teammate Angelo Furlan, who also is Alessio's fastest wheel, and tried to have his say in the sprint". As for team leader Ivan Gotti, who crashed during yesterday stage, and suffered minor injuries, that proved enough to make him lose decisive time anyway, Pellizotti said the double Giro winner remains the captain. "There's a long way to go before the end, and we hope he may recover an find back the energies he needs. We'll see what happens in the coming stages". But he didn't sound too persuading (neither persuaded) while talking that way; I wouldn't be surprised to see good things from a "FREE" Pellizotti (and Daniele De Paoli too) in some of the next stages.

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