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Driver's seat: Scott Sunderland's Giro diary 2006

Index of 2006 updates

Italy, May 11, 2006

When you win, it's very nice

The winning team
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Yes, it was close, but we did win the team time trial today! Last year, we lost the team time trial in the Tour: we lost the stage and the yellow jersey by one single second.

So yes, T-Mobile did OK, because they did get the leader's jersey. That's not bad at all. When you lose everything on one day, it's worse.

For the team to win a team time trial like this...it's huge. You only know how big it is when you have lost before. When you don't win, you're pretty well gutted. It guts the whole team, personnel, team direction, fans, everyone. Today we won, and it was a good accomplishment, a very big boost to the morale.

It's been a good couple of days for us since we last touched base. I can assure you we weren't resting. The riders and personnel were working big time. The truck which drove down with the road bikes from the fourth stage drove all night, and arrived at 7:00am. The mechanics had the road bikes ready for riding the next day. The soigneurs came in at 3-4am the next morning. And for us travelling by plane, by the time we got into the hotel it was just after midnight. I got into bed at 1:30 am after making sure everyone and everything arrived OK.

The rest day wasn't exactly restful. We went training yesterday, and after that it was just the normal thing; massages and trying to relax a moment before dinner. On the day of the TT you start quite early with breakfast at 8:30, then go training , come back for some lunch, go to the start to warm up, and then do the race itself. We got back to the hotel at 7. Massages follow. Diner at 9. It's all a matter of efficient planning and good timing. In my job experience helps; and being here with Allain Gallopin :-)

Ivan Basso (CSC)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

When you're aiming for the win and you know the team can win, the pressure builds up. All this has to be dealt with without actually transferring that pressure onto the riders. Being aware of that stress is a good start.

We had an awesome day, and we're very happy with it. We were able to take back some seconds we lost earlier in the race. That's what we were counting on. The team is comfortable with how things are going. This race is three weeks, and to be honest it's kinda nice to get to see the end of the first week coming closer.

I think, for a while, we'll see T-Mobile and Davitamon-Lotto keep the stages in hand. Our team will just take it a day at a time for the next few days. Stage 8 to Maielletta is the first mountain top finish, and it will give an indication of how the favourites are going. Things will become more clear after that stage.