PEZ: Are you happy with your ride, Rubens?
Rubens: Yes, I think I did a good ride on the preparation I had; I was always going to be behind the riders who prepared by riding the Vuelta. I think I finished in 39th or 40th place, I’m happy with that.
PEZ: Your Guerciotti looked great, today.
Rubens: It was made especially for me, the red is the exact red of the Swiss jersey – I was very proud to ride it. I rode 44/54 chain rings with an 11-23 cassette; I had a disc on the rear and an Ambrosio deep section on the front. I used the 44 x 19 and 21 on the climb.
PEZ: How were conditions?
Rubens: It was a hard day; the wind made the course tough especially the second part of the circuit. Psychologically too, it’s difficult because you know that every hard part you will have to ride again – twice!
PEZ: Do you have a warm up ‘ritual?’
Rubens: I like to warm up on the road – I did a small loop which took in half of the course; then I did 30 minutes on the rollers, before I went to the start house.
PEZ: You were in ‘wave’ two – was that a disadvantage?
Rubens: Not today because I think that all the riders enjoyed the same conditions, but it can be if the weather changes.
PEZ: That climb looked tough.
Rubens: It’s not too long but it’s very hard, 900 metres long and at the top, there’s no decent, just a series of false flats – very difficult; you have save a little on the climb to be ready for that.
PEZ: Did you drink much?
Rubens: I had one bottle, I drank twice then threw it away, it was hot for September and important to drink.
PEZ: Did your team, Diquigiovanni provide support for you?
Rubens: No, I had Cancellara’s mechanic and soigneur – they are excellent; when you see them work, it’s easy to understand why Saxo Bank is such a good team.
PEZ: With it being your home race, did you get a lot of media attention?
Rubens: Yes, when I compete in Switzerland, there a lot of journalists who follow the races – it puts me under pressure to perform. Not today, though I knew that it would be hard to get into the top 20 – the level of competition is so high.
PEZ: There were lots of ‘Rubens’ banners.
Rubens: Yes, was very motivating to race in front of people who know you – I was very proud.
Fabian Cancellara will lead the Swiss team on Sunday.
PEZ: Did you race much against Fabian when you were both young riders on the Swiss scene?
Rubens: No, luckily he was two years younger than me so we weren’t in the same category. He was always strong in the time trials and one day race; I was better at stage racing. Even then, he was very strong and won a lot of races; we both did!
PEZ: Is he a big favourite with the media in Switzerland?
Rubens: Oh yes, not just with the Swiss media but with journalists from all over the world because he is such a big star, now.
PEZ: What will you be doing on Friday and Saturday?
Rubens: Friday we will do two hours to take away the fatigue of today’s effort, then on Saturday; maybe a little more – three hours.
Michael Albasini and Rubens will hopefully play vital roles in getting Cancellara into a position to win Sunday afternoon.
PEZ: You live just down the road but are staying in the team hotel?
Rubens: Yes, it’s a little strange but it’s best for team spirit; Michael Albasini is the rider who we expect to help Fabian furthest into the road race – and I hope to be with him too, of course!
Of course! We’ll be talking to Rubens after the road race; maybe we’ll be discussing another Swiss victory?