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GIRO - Post Stage (11) Comments: Hamilton and Casagrande
By Fabio
Date: 5/23/2002
GIRO - Post Stage (11) Comments: Hamilton and Casagrande

Interviewed on Italian TV after the race, Tyler Hamilton said he was not completely fit on Thursday, as he had problem with his stomach, stomach cramps, that prevented him from doing well, but feels he can do better than what he actually did on Stage 11. And he still feels confident of his chances, especially about Sunday's ITT in Numana, a stage he knows well as the man already tested the route no less four times during his Tour of Italy build-up.

CSC-Tiscali Team Manager Bjarne Riis confirmed that Spain's Carlos Sastre is the man to stay beside Hamilton and give all the support he needs, just like the former ONCE climber did in the Limone Piemonte stage, where the American crashed on a descent and the Spaniard gave him his own bike (which, btw, had the same size as Tyler's), and today's eleventh leg, when Sastre's help to the US rider didn't miss.

Bjarne Riis admitted that he was impressed by Simoni's and Casagrande's showdown, the first in particular as it was the Saeco rider that pulled for most of the time. But also said there's a long way to go before the end, so it seems he still thinks Hamilton may compete for the overall victory. And it couldn't be any other way as, still according to Riis, both Tyler and the CSC staff worked hard for almost half an year to prepare well for the Giro.

But it is no surprise at all, as Hamilton himself admitted that he learnt "work ethic" directly from a kind of teacher such as Lance Armstrong, an authority in this field: "Nobody trains harder than Lance in preparing for a Big Tour" were Hamilton's words.

But if Hamilton had some health probs, Francesco Casagrande wasn't any better: Thursday's (and current overall) runner-up, interviewed right after the stage end, told journalists that "my condition is quite good, but I'm definitely not 100 % fit, as I've been suffering from tracheitis for three days, just hope it might go away before Saturday's stage".

As for the stage outcome, the Fassa's Florentine said "It seems that I'm fated to take second, I did even today as, despite I began the final sprint in a good fashion, Simoni was a little faster than me and won. I don't know ... I'm doing well, but just can't win, there's always someone's wheel ahead of mine. Just hope a win may come".

But his Sporting directors sounded like being satisfied with Casagrande's performances: according to the Fassa-Bortolo website, director Alberto Volpi said: "Francesco (Casagrande) looks very relaxed and calm. We trust him and are hopeful ...".

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