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Cadel Evans' Giro d'Italia Diary 2002

After stage 17: Today's another day

May 31, 2002

Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Cyclingnews caught up with Cadel on his way to the start of Stage 18, after his tough day and loss of the Maglia Rosa yesterday.

"Oh I feel fine today; I'll have a better idea when I get on the bike. Anyway, I'm a lot better than I was yesterday! I know that my body needs more time to adapt to these longer races; I'm still young yet. Look at Pavel Tonkov and all the experience he has and how his body has learned to adapt. I've only had 17 days!"

"Yesterday I wasn't feeling great but anyway, OK. No was picking up the pace to put more time on Frigo on the last climb and when he gapped me, Hamilton attacked. I tried to go and my legs stopped working. I just ran out of gas...Then I was trying to finish the stage. In that condition, my brain just stopped thinking! It was scary."

"But the team is happy about what I've done and I am too. I spoke to my DS Roberto Damiani and Dr. Sassi and they have given me a lot of support. All things being normal, I'd finish with Savoldelli on the climb, but...c'est la vie. This morning, Giorgio (Squinzi, Mapei's owner) called me and told me 'Cadel, you don't have to start today if you don't want to - you've already done a lot more than we had hoped', but I want to finish the Giro."

"As for Saturday's Time Trial, it just depends on how the legs feel. I'll give it my best effort, you can be sure of that! Then it's off for a well-deserved holiday - I really need one. The I'll start racing again at the Uniqa Classic in 5 weeks."