After nine days of racing, Italy’s weather, roads and an abundance of kilometers have taken their toll on some more than others
The kilometers of a Grand Tour are there purely to drum the energy out of riders day-by-day. The first week of the 102nd Giro d’Italia, there have been 1,504 kilometers over the first nine days. Two time trials and five stages of 200-plus kilometer days and the peloton finally arrives at its first rest day, already looking a bit bashed up. Some looking more in need of the down-day than others.
“I feel good,” Tanel Kangert says. “I don’t really feel like I need a rest day now, but it happens to me often that the first rest day it’s just there, my body maybe doesn’t really need it. The second rest day is always a different story, then I would like to have probably two rest days which obviously isn’t possible.”
The word on the street is that many are saying they can’t remember the last time there was such a bad start weather-wise to a Grand Tour. There have been days where freezing rain has fallen relentlessly upon the peloton, days where wind has caused chaos, provoking crashes.
“We expected something easier from this first week but it was not so easy, with the crashes and everyone being nervous. We’ve had no result so far, but I am happy that the group have maintained their focus everyday and the morale, even with some difficulties and bad moments is still high,” Sports Director, Fabrizio Guidi comments.
This week we’ve unfortunately lost Matti Breschel and Sacha Modolo amongst the lineup due to illness and fatigue. It’s been a week of ups and downs, that’s for sure.
“It’s important that even in the bad moments to stick together and to keep fighting until the end and this is exactly what we are going to do. We can have some other bad moments, you know, but with a big Tour you have to deal with this,” Guidi says, obviously proud with how his team have performed and coped with what has been dealt them.
Our rookies, Sean Bennett and have held in there and keep coming out and giving it their all everyday. “Everyone seems to be firing, Jonathan and Sean seem to be coping well physically and mentally with their first Grand Tour, Sean especially seems to be taking it in his stride,” Jonathan Klever Caicedo, says. Hugh Carthy
“Nate is starting to be an old hand at Grand Tours, he has a few under his belt and I think he is going to be key in the next week or so at keeping everyone calm and being a good reference to us all, as will Joe and Tanel” he continues.
“It was unfortunate to lose Matti and Sacha but they were a little bit more separate to what the rest of the team’s objectives were, but even so we’re not going to lose our heads about it, we’re going to continue as we have been with a good mentality and approach to the race,” he concludes, sounding confident, as he should.
His performance yesterday in the time trial made the media sit up and take note and wonder what lays ahead of him in terms of the general classification, along with Kangert.
So as we take time to relax and reflect on what has been, and what dramas lie ahead here’s a look back at week one of the Giro d’Italia 2019.