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89th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Interviews & Photos
 
By Staff
Date: 5/24/2006
89th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Interviews & Photos
 

89th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Interviews
Rider and Team Interviews after the race today...

 

Unlike some of his colleagues, CSC's boss Bjarne Riis shared the decision to shorten the stage "It was a pity that we couldn't get to the summit, as this would have made for a great stage for sure. But organizers have to make the best decisions for the riders, you know. And I think they did today".


Ivan Basso climbs on Piepoli's wheel, ten days in the Maglia Rosa and a dominant show, but again humble and cautious statements after the race. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

After-race comments from Ivan Basso, "I don't think I would have won the stage in case of a finish at Plan de Corones as planned. Piepoli is a pure climber, and steep climbs like that are more suitable to him. I'm used to ride Corones as planned. Piepoli is a pure climber, and steep climbs like that are more suitable to him.
I'm used to ride better on easier slopes, but as I'm on form, I can do well also in such tough ascents in this period. I suffered because of the cold today, and because of the temperature changes: a few days ago we were racing in temperatures over 30°C, and today it was below zero. The road to Milano? Well, I'm happy and serene now, but there's still three tough stages left, and it wouldn't take more than a bad day for me to lose everything; I still have to be very careful".


Vittoria Pieopoli!!!  Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Leonardo Piepoli dismissed allegations from Basso that he would have succeeded in dropping the CSC rider from his wheel in case of stage finish at Plan de Corones, and added a few more tidbits on his victory:
"It's kinda ironic that I've always struggled in weather conditions like this, that I've never been comfortable in rain and cold ... and that I just got two of my best career wins in rain and cold weather. I wouldn't have dared to attack today if it wasn't for Simoni though. I just couldn't think about stage victory In such weather, you know, but Gibo persuaded me to go, he told me that I had to attack, that I could do it. So I did, and I must thank Simoni again, perhaps even more than at the end of the La Thuile stage."

Mauro Gianetti
Pietro Algeri might have been annoyed by the decision to shorten the stage (before Piepoli's winning climb to the  line at least ...) but another former rider now in the Saunier Duval staff, the Italian-speaking Swissman Mauro Gianetti, was all smiles later today: "Well, Piepoli didn't even want to participate in the Giro. It took some time for us to persuade him. But he came to the race in the best possible conditions. Today he has waited for Simoni to tell him to go and win. Both guys are having a good race, also Gibo who's currently sitting in third place on the GC, and could make the podium again at Milan. I just hope that both of them are going to continue with us (next year)".


Leonardo having his own renaissance in the 89th Giro!
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Damiano Cunego clearly agreed with the decision to shorten the stage:
"They made the right choice. That climb is so tough in good weather, just fancy (what could happen) in conditions like today's. We could have put our hobnailed shoes on and walked up to the summit maybe. The same goes with Passo delle Erbe: we could get frozen on the ascent already, so you can imagine what was going to occur on the descent".

Talking about the performance he had today, the 2004 Giro winner - but too far from the 2006 podium - added that "I wish I could snatch a victory. That would be great for myself, the team, the sponsors. But unfortunately the opposition is very strong. I tried today and didn't succeed, but the result I got will no doubt bolster my morale".

If the Maglia Rosa holder was serene, The Flying Trullo was pleasantly surprised by his "rainy" victory, his
Saunier Duval team boss Giannetti was all smiles, and Damiano Cunego's morale was boosted by today's result ...

Paolo Savoldelli wasn't anything like that. The Falco perfectly represents the other side of the coins in days like these, and the words he has said in front of the RAI cameras today (but it wasn't that different yesterday) have left no room for doubt: "I don't even try to stay with best ones any longer. I'm not up to the task in this period. I just climb at my own pace, period. I'm hanging on because I'm the team leader and everyone is helping me, so I think the right thing for them is that I keep going. Things got a little better today, also because of the weather, but - again - I cannot be true competitor, I'm struggling all the time, I just don't have the legs. All I can do is try and limit my losses".

Team Comments after stage 16
Historic Win for Basso and
Team CSC

With a splendid demonstration of power Ivan Basso and Team CSC took a beautiful, historic victory in the 16th stage of Giro d'Italia from Rovato to the top of Monte Bondone.

Ivan Basso
”It was a fantastic feeling to win on a mountain wearing the pink jersey. I think it's something all riders dream about, certainly it's always been a big dream of mine ever since I became a pro. Of course all victories are important, but this one will always be special to me. The team set me up perfectly, so I was able to do my bit at the end to try and finish the job. It's really hard for me to put into words, how I feel, and I have a very tough day ahead of me tomorrow. But I do feel very happy with what we've accomplished today. The Giro is far from over and I won't preconceive me winning, but today is a day I'll never forget that's for sure,” said Ivan Basso after having won the 173-kilometer stage.

Bjarne Riis
”What Ivan did out there today will most likely pass over into history as one of the great stage wins in the Giro. Today he displayed some of the enormous potential, he has as a rider. At the moment he's in a league of his own and the rhythm, he found on the mountain today was fantastic to watch. He proved that he's the strongest rider in the Giro and probably one of the greatest riders in the sport at the moment. Tomorrow is an extremely difficult stage, but with the way the team and Ivan are performing at the moment it's surely something to look forward to,” said Bjarne Riis after Team CSC's third victory in this the 89th edition of Giro d'Italia.

Damiano Cunego Lampre/Fondital
"Tomorrow I will try to keep on struggling, also to thanks my team mates that today helped me": this is Cunego's comment after the 16th stage of Giro d'Italia (Rovato-Monte Bondone) in which Damiano finished in 24th position at 4'37" from Basso, the winner of the stage and the leader in the overall standing (Cunego is 8th at 13'55"),
Beautiful start in Rovato, birthplace of the sport director Giuseppe Martinelli, tough final climb on Monte Bondone, during which the Csc team imposed a high speed form the first kilometres, causing difficulties to most of the racers. Cunego tried to keep this speed, but then went on with his pace, helped by his team mates.

Cunego's Bike:

The bike had to be changed today due to the change in route but this is a photo of Damiano's bike. Photo courtesy of Lampre Fondital.

Tomorrow stage will start from Termeno and will end with the suggestive final climb without asphalt of Plan de Corones. In order to cover this tough climb, Lampre-Fondital's cyclists will use a  with a compact (52-34) and particular tubulars, the same used for Roubaix.
 

 
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