2003 Giro d'Italia rider journals
Team: Team fakta-Pata Chips
Scott Sunderland is riding his first three week tour since his infamous crash
in the 1998 Amstel Gold Race, a feat that he didn't think was possible ever
again. The determined and experienced Aussie will be one of the leaders of the
Danish fakta team, which boasts riders like Magnus Bäckstedt, Frank Høj, Jørgen
Bo Petersen and Kurt Asle-Arvesen.
Stage 13 - May 23: Pordenone-Marostica, 155 km
A bit of a downer
Well I'm getting a bit bored with the racing here. It seems like you've got
to be a sprinter or a climber here because they're not letting anything go.
Personally I had a bit of a downer. I had a sleeping tablet last night and I
had trouble waking up today. It was the first day I've felt a bit ordinary.
The first time on the hill I was very ordinary, the second and third were a
little bit better. Also the whole team in general was a bit tired today. We
did the Intergiro for Maggie but he was a little tired. The leader's teammates
threw him off a bit, just a bit of tactics, and Svorada rolled him for second.
Then we were just trying to get in breaks all the time, but the right combo
never came up. A break of 12 went with Frank Høj and myself, but Gabriele Colombo
(Domina) was sitting on and Lotto and Fassa Bortolo were giving full gas behind.
We got 30 seconds but we couldn't persist with it.
In certain parts of the stage we were doing 60-65 km/h with all the attacks.
Fassa kept riding with a few guys in the front and closed everything down. Good
on 'em, they won didn't they?
A few guys got active on the last lap and we had a bit of a gap. You could
see at one moment there they were all giving gas. But I looked round and there
were four Fassa's on the front for Petacchi. Who's going to be on the front
to keep riding in our group? I just eased up and waited for these guys and got
aboard the train. It was a very open descent and long wide road to the finish.
In the sprint I couldn't get the message through to the legs quick enough.
I was caught on the wrong side of the road and locked positions with Pantani
for a moment. I gave him a bit of a shove to get out, but he didn't want to
get out. Normally in a bunch sprint like that in a smaller group I can go fairly
well. I should have been up there for a top five. C'est la vie.
A stop for Zanette
After 10 km of semi-neutral riding at the beginning of the stage we stopped
for Denis Zanette in his home town of Sacile. He was a good friend Biagio Conte
and Alessandro Petacchi. His teammates from Fassa Bortolo handed over flowers
to his family. Everybody stopped and took their helmets off. It was very emotional.
There was a big crowd there and everybody appreciated it.
Unfortunately the Intergiro was only 15 km after this. It was nice though
that we had the opportunity to do that for his family.
It was a very warm day today - up around the 30 degree mark. We've had a few
cooler days for the last few days and hopefully it keeps that way. While we
were getting good weather in the south of Italy it was bad up here in the north.
Hopefully that's over now.
I was talking to McEwen today, and he's going home tomorrow. He's got his
ticket booked and he'll be outta here.
I was also in the village having coffee and talking to a few of the boys.
Scotty Davis was telling me he was able to read the writing on his front tyre
on yesterday's climb. Maggie said he could read the writing on his hub: Shimano
- Wheels - Shimano - Wheels.
In general everybody got through it yesterday but a few guys were a bit tired.
Otherwise everything is good. I've come in to my room and set up my speakers
and put on some Creed quite loud. Some Australian music is always good.
As for the stage tomorrow, I don't know how it'll go. I did these climbs so
long ago, but I was doing them in the grupetto so I didn't pay attention. In
most races in Italy, like Tirreno Adriatico, you don't do them. Even Lombardy
doesn't have these steep, long climbs.
We shall see tomorrow. It's not too early a start so I can sleep until about
9. The plan is all worked out by our team director Kim Andersen, who gives us
a bit of paper with everything to do:
Wake up call at 9. Breakfast at 9:15. Suitcase needs to be ready at 10. Team
meeting at 10:15. Leave for the hotel in the car to the start at 10:45. Start
at 12:15. Kilometres to the hotel after the finish: 50. That way we know what
our whole day is.
Speaking of which, it's massage time.