PEZ: Second, fifth, second; that’s not a bad start, Tyler.
Tyler: No; my objective here is to win a stage and I think I’ve shown that if I get the opportunity, then I have the condition to do it. For the next few days it’s a case of surviving the hills, but stages seven and nine look like they could end in sprint finishes.
PEZ: The TTT; what about those six lost seconds?
Tyler: It’s hard to think where we lost them, maybe we started a little too slowly, but then again we finished the fastest. It’s not that we did a bad ride; Columbia just out right beat us – they were the strongest team on the day.
Garmin couldn’t quite the Stage 1 TTT victory, but that was still a damn fine effort.
PEZ: How was morale after that?
Tyler: Sure, we were disappointed; we worked hard and it was a big priority, but that’s bike racing! Like I said, it’s not that we did a bad ride.
PEZ: Stage two and you were fifth; happy?
Tyler: I was a little frustrated; I had good legs but I lost it tactically, I made a few mistakes in the finale.
PEZ: Not a good day for Cav, today.
Tyler: No, there was a big crash at 10 to go and he got held up. It happened right beside me; I managed to stay upright but somebody rode into my rear gear and I was left with just the 12. The 11 wouldn’t have hurt in the sprint and neither would an easier gear to get up that hill in!
Cavendish’s day was a bit disappointing.
PEZ: Visconti’s late move looked dangerous.
Tyler: He put in a really good move, it was a hard circuit and the teams weren’t organised in the last kilometre; there were no trains as such – he nearly pulled it off.
This picture isn’t from today, but that’s irrelevant – Visconti made a strong move, and almost pulled it off.
PEZ: Did you have help at the end?
Tyler: Most of our guys got tangled in the crash; I just had Dave Millar with me, but he did a really good job, there was a difficult turn just before the climb with four K to go and he took me through there in second wheel – after that, it was up to me.
PEZ: Tell us about the sprint.
Tyler: It was a tough finish, it was false flat, winding up hill, there were no trains; it was just kinda swarming. It was down to who had most left; Petacchi went early again, there was a gentle left right and he just took a straight line through them – that was the advantage of going early and being at the front.
The whole fly-over thing kinda goes with the Ale-Jet thing. Kinda.
PEZ: Was it ‘hairy?’
Tyler: It wasn’t too bad, I got a little boxed and had to squeeze through on the barriers, but you know, all sprints are a little crazy!
PEZ: What’s Petacchi’s main strength?
Tyler: I haven’t sprinted against him often enough to know his strengths and weaknesses, yet – just at Tirreno and twice here. He’s obviously one of the best in the world, so he’s good at all aspects of sprinting, but I need to ride against him more to learn about him.
Farrar has certainly done it in the past: his stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico beat pretty much all of the sport’s best sprinters.
PEZ: ‘What ifs?’
Tyler: Maybe if I hadn’t broken my derailleur; otherwise there’s not a lot else I would have done differently.
PEZ: So near, yet so far, for you.
Tyler: It was frustrating, like I said, I came here with the goal of winning a stage and I thought today was a good opportunity. But taking the young riders’ jersey is good consolation – to get any jersey in a Grand Tour is pretty special.
Petacchi was once again unstoppable today.
PEZ: Do you think your enforced rest after your Primavera crash may have been a blessing in disguise?
Tyler: Definitely, it didn’t seem to hurt me, anyway. After Tirreno and Milan – San Remo, I should have been heading north for the Belgian classics, from de Panne through Flanders, Gent – Wevelgem to Paris – Roubaix. Instead, I was sitting on my couch! I think I got rest before I actually needed it and I’ve come back fresh and motivated.
PEZ: How has the media attention been?
Tyler: I have had a fair bit; I’m a fairly new to this level and the media are always interested in new face.
Farrar has his sights set on some solo podium time with a win at some point during this Giro.
PEZ: I have to ask – can you beat Ale Jet?
Tyler: I think so! I beat him at Tirreno; I’ll need to do everything right and it all has to click, but yeah, I think so.
We’ll have to wait until we’re back out of hills before we can take up that story again – but it’s worth looking forward to. Meanwhile, Tyler – we hope those climbs don’t hurt too much and thank you for your time.