PEZ: Is there a big party after the Giro, Dario?
Dario: That’s more of a Tour de France thing, many of the riders families travel to Paris and have an extra night there, but in the Giro it’s mostly Italian riders and they all just want to get home as quickly as possible after the race.
PEZ: Are the Predictor/Lotto management happy with how the race went for the team?
Dario: Yes, the goal before the race was to win one stage and we did that within two days; as I said to you before, with just a little luck Robbie could have won at least another two stages.
But when Robbie left the race we completely changed tactics; we went from trying to keep the race together for Robbie to trying to get in breaks.
In the mountains it was difficult to get a win because there were so many good climbers battling for the GC but we got a lot of TV coverage for the sponsors.
PEZ: Are you happy with your Giro?
Dario: Yes, I rode a good last week and with just a little more luck I might have won on the Zoncolan.
I had a few bad days in the middle of the race, but that was to be expected because my preparation for the Giro was interrupted by illness.
I started the race very well too, I was strong in the TTT and I did a lot of work for Robbie in the first week so I’m pleased with how my race went.
PEZ: Your personal high-light from the Giro?
Dario: It would have to be my day on the Zoncolan, like I said, with just a little more luck I might have won there.
PEZ: And the low points?
Dario: I had a couple of bad days in the mountains in the middle of the race; days where you think the stage will never end!
PEZ: How’s your weight?
Dario: It’s more or less the same as at the start, that’s usual for me, I try to be lean when I go into the Giro, so if you lose weight during the race its muscle you are losing.
My metabolic rate is still ‘up’ at the moment so I would expect to lose weight over the next few days because I’ll be eating less than I was in the race.
PEZ: Will you be resting now, to recover?
Dario: After the Giro you try to cool your body down gradually, yesterday and today it’s two or three hours easy just to wind-down before you actually have a few days off the bike.
PEZ: Does you form go down or up after the Giro.
Dario: Usually it dips a little but I think that it may be different this year because I was going so well in the last week.
PEZ: What’s your race programme now?
Dario: There’s nothing in the immediate short-term but I think there’s a very good chance that I will be riding the Tour.
At the start of the season we agreed that the Giro and Tour would be my main goals so I think I’ll be there.
After the Tour – if I’m selected – I’ll take a break then come back for September and October.
PEZ: Mazzoleni; a big surprise?
Dario: Not really, he’s a strong rider, he’s been top ten in the Giro before and he was 13th in the Tour de France in 2005, so he’s a good, consistent rider.
Also, every one expected Savoldelli to be Astana’s main-man.
PEZ: Schleck – a revelation?
Dario: Yes, but it wasn’t just Schleck, Nibali (Liquigas) and Visconti (QuickStep) the two young Italians rode very good Giros too.
PEZ: A ‘new’ Danilo Di Luca?
Dario: Danilo has aimed at the Giro before, but this year he got it just right; he had a good team and he made no mistakes, he deserved to win.
PEZ: Thank you for all your insights during the race Dario and we’ll see you in France.
Dario: [to the sound of a derailleur changing] Ciao, ciao!
Well, that’s it for my chats with Dario finished until the Tour; the worst thing is not being able to say to the guys; “as Dario Cioni was just saying to me last night . . .”