PEZ was at the stage 12 start to hear what the riders and team personnel had to say about what happened during the course of those tumultuous 262 kilometres.
Matt Goss, Columbia & Australia, winner stage 9 of this Giro:
I was in the lead group but let it go on the last climb, I could see that it was going to be too difficult for us to control it. Cervelo, Sky, Saxo and Caisse were all driving at the front and behind Astana and BMC didn’t have the teams to chase; It was a strange situation. It’s going to be hard for the favorites to pull that time back but we still have the hardest stages to come – it’ll be interesting.
Gianni Savio, Italy, Diquigiovanni manager:
I think that one of the reasons cycling is such a beautiful sport is that things can happen in a new way. Yesterday we worked hard but it was unbelievable that Astana, with the pink jersey did not. Liquigas too, Basso and Nibali are leaders, they don’t want to be where they are – and I think that Liquigas will find it hard to win the Giro with Kiserlovski. For us, Scarponi is in good form and we rode a good race – we had four in the break but I dropped three back to chase. I went from the number one car to the number two car; I pulled back Bertogliati, Wurf and Ochoa to work in the chase – we honored the race!
Paolo Barbieri, Italy, press officer for Liquigas:
It was a crazy stage, of course – our strategy was not to help Evans and Vinokourov. We had two of our strong riders in the break, Agnoli and Kiserlovski – it’s not for us to chase. Over night we have considered it and it was the right thing for us to do, not to work for Evans and Vino. BMC and Astana had men in the break – why? they should have been brought back to chase. That way of racing offends the race.
Another factor is that the communications were confused, it was many minutes before we got the names of who was in the break. We believe we still have a chance to win – the hardest stages are still to come. Arroyo and Sastre are now the favorites – we’ll just have to try and invent something so we can win!
Adriano Baffi, Italy, former Giro stage winner, road man sprinter and six day star:
Since my day, a lot has changed in the team’s approach – the (BMC & Astana) riders are young, many of them don’t have enough power yet. I think that the individuals are good but the teams less so. And I think that this becomes more the case, each year.
I also think it is difficult for the teams to ride double programmes – California is being held at the moment, for example. This makes it difficult to get the team to know each other the way they must to build the atmosphere of a family.
But it is easy for me to look back at yesterday and say these things, isn’t it? We all make mistakes!
Inigo Antolin, Spain, press officer, Caisse D’Epargne:
Our DS, Neil Stephens told the riders before the start that this would be a stage where a move would go. The guys were at the front and watchful, that’s how we had good representation. And then when Neil saw the Sky, Cervelo and Saxo guys setting the pace, he knew it was an important break and we were committed. Liquigas and Astana – could they have done more? We don’t want to cause any controversy – maybe best you read the Gazzetta for that!
Erik Dekker, Holland, DS Rabobank and former multiple Tour stage and Classic winner:
It wasn’t expected, it was a strange stage. Astana have had injuries, sure, but when you see a lot of riders go, then you understand that there will be at least one good one there.
The radio told us that nearly 60 guys had gone, there were no numbers given, but when you hear that, you pull until you know what the situation is. You don’t wait until you know the situation – the break had 12 minutes by the time we knew who was in it. From that moment you knew it wasn’t going to close.
BMC and Astana are not strong; it’s a very hard last week and maybe Evans and Vino are trying to preserve their teams. Porte is riding well, but it’s not certain he can win – or maybe he’ll be the next guy to win seven Tours and this is his break through? I think it was too early for Evans to want to go for the jersey and I think that Vino maybe wanted to give it away, so they wouldn’t have to defend – but not give it away by as much as he did.
Marc Sergeant, Belgium, manager Lotto and former Belgian pro champion:
Yesterday’s was a surprise and it wasn’t, when a break of 60 – if you can call 60 riders a break – go up the road at that point you don’t know who’s in it but you have to react. We had three, then four up there but the mistake some teams made was not to react. BMC and Astana not strong? Definitely not strong, the proof was there, yesterday. For Liquigas it was difficult, they had four at the front and five behind – that’s an awkward situation for sure.
Julian Dean, Garmin & New Zealand, third on stage 10 after delivering Tyler Farrar into a winning position:
It was a tough day, I don’t think anyone enjoyed it – except Petrov, but he won! I’ve had a long career in this sport and never seen anything like it happen, before. Vino and Cadel know they don’t have strong teams; Vino is strong but probably didn’t want to commit himself so early – the last week is very hard.
Today is our last chance for the sprint, so we’re going to try and make the most of it, after that we’ll going with the breaks.
Ted King, Cervelo & USA:
To say it was an unusual day would be an understatement; in terms of the races reaction to the break ; “too little, too late.” Diquigiovanni and Acqua & Sapone chased but there were basically two groups; the winning group and the foolish group – I was in the foolish one! My motto in this Giro is to expect the unexpected – yesterday for example, we had more rain in one hour than we had in the whole Giro, last year. It’s been an adventure.
When I get back home? Try and catch some Boston Red Sox games – that’s with an ‘x’ at the end, remember.
Vladimir Karpets, Russia & Caisse, former winner Tour de Suisse and Volta a Catalunya:
It’s not complicated what happened yesterday, there was no control. It was down to Astana to chase but it’s difficult for Vino because his team is not strong. The mountains will shake it up and it’s a long way from over, yet.
Matt Lloyd, Lotto & Australia, current holder of the climbers’ jersey in this Giro and former Australia Elite champion:
It was an interesting stage, I knew that I had to get points on that second climb to keep my jersey – I was second, so I should keep it today and tomorrow. After that I just rode in to the finish.
I don’t know what will happen on the Zoncollan – that last week is gonna be a war – but for now I’m happy. it just shows what can happen if you get a whole bunch of guys who are motivated to step it up a notch. It was a horrible day but I don’t think that was a factor, I think that break would have gone whatever the weather. The thing with the climbing classification is that you can be riding along a flat beach road and suddenly you’ll hit this climb where you’ll think; “is this steep or am I just going shit?” Today I’ll try to save energy – that last week is gonna be violent – and I’m hoping this nice weather continues. We’re all gonna come out of this race flying or in the bucket – but I’ve got a feeling that for most of us it’ll be the bucket end of the scale!
Kris Whitington, mechanic, Garmin, for the pragmatic view:
I was in the second car behind the gruppo – it was a barrel of laughs! It wasn’t so much punctures as clothing stuff; it went from dry to wet to dry and back again so there were capes coming off and going on, gloves getting passed out, guys changing all the time. And we ended up helping guys from other teams because there just weren’t enough team cars to cover all the groups.
And before we could ask any more questions, it was roll out time on this ‘expect the unexpected’ Giro d’Italia.