PEZ: Champagne, last night, Michael?
A bit of champagne and some red wine; it’s been an amazing race for us, we came no real expectations and a young team – the experienced guys in the team are really here to prepare for other things – and we’ve won a stage and have Richie Porte in the best young riders’ jersey.
PEZ: Did you hear that Chris had won whilst you were still on the bike?
With five kilometres to go Gasparotto told us that Chris had one-and-a-half minutes lead with one kilometre to go – that made those last kilometres a bit easier for me!
PEZ: Saxo Bank’s Giro goals?
We didn’t really have goals, it’s a team of young riders and riders here to prepare for other races, later in the season.
PEZ: Your Giro goals?
To get through, it’s so tough to do a three week stage race, I have to gain experience – I have so much respect for the guys who ride the Grand Tours.
PEZ: You had a good prologue.
I was happy and proud about that ride, I was 19th but the guys that were in front of me were big names – it got me to thinking that I could be competitive in the prologue of smaller stage races.
PEZ: The carnage in Holland?
I’ve raced in Holland more than I have in Italy, it’s normal for me; when we came to Italy we raced on gravel roads!
PEZ: Was the TTT a disappointment?
I think that people’s expectation of how our team would go was higher than we could manage, they were evaluating us on the Saxo Bank name, not the riders who are here. I think for us to lose a minute to a team like Liquigas wasn’t a bad performance.
PEZ: The strade bianche.
I was in the gruppo and it was pretty grim, all you want to do is get to the finish, with all that mud and dirt, everywhere.
To be honest, I thought I could climb better than I actually can – I’m more of the heavy sprinter, I think.
PEZ: Today was stage nine, uncharted waters for you.
Even after massage my legs feel sore, they seem to be getting worse and worse – it’s difficult to recover. Take today, it’s supposed to be a flat stage but it’s very fast – the wet wasn’t so bad because it’s 16 degrees or so, that doesn’t affect your legs too much, it’s when your legs get cold on a long descent that it makes things worse. Today I hoped to be able to help JJ Haedo in the sprint but I was at the back of the group in the final kilometres and if you’re not at the front, it’s no use.
PEZ: Richie Porte has surprised.
He defended the young rider jersey again, today and in fact was our best finisher in 16th, I think. He has good climbing skills, he can time trial and has a very good idea on how to position himself in the bunch – he’s a very impressive rider.
PEZ: What’s the latest on a new sponsor for the team?
The riders don’t get to know, just the rumours that are in the press – the Danish media prints a lot of stuff but most of it isn’t correct.
PEZ: Your a man whose equipment has to be right, how are you finding the Specialized?
It’s really nice equipment, the Tarmac SL3 is a really nice machine and my time trial bike – the Shiv is great; that’s what helped me to a good prologue ride, it’s the first time trial bike I’ve ridden that’s light but rigid and aero at the same time.
PEZ: And finally, is the Italian pasta really better?
We have our own chef, but in the hotels where they won’t let him use the kitchen I would definitely say that the pasta is the best.
With thanks to Michael for his time and wishing him a safe and successful Giro.