The final tune up for the giro d italia kicked off today at the giro del trentino. With the giro only 3 weeks away it's an important tune up for the riders who are targeting success in the first grand tour of the season. Today was a little unusual day with 2 stages. A short 130km warm up in the morning and a 14km team TT in the afternoon. We have a reduced team here with only 7 riders due to others racing in belgium and also many riders resting up ahead of the giro. As a result of this we are not putting alot of pressure on ourselves to do to much at the event and use it merely as a good training block and get an assessment of where out recent time at altitude has put our physical condition.
The morning stage was always going to be a little dangerous which turned out to be the case. A breakaway went early, nobody chased and in the end 8 riders had a 7min lead on the rest of the field. I trundles along in the bunch and stayed out of trouble, was a good opener after having the past 3 days very easy following the altitude camp. The first days of races are always a battle for me as I seem to take a while to get the engine going so was nice to have a gentle warm up.
The afternoon TT provided a great opportunity to do a little test for the team ahead of the giro. Unfortunately having a weakened team we only had 5 riders to pull so we were immediately up against the other teams who were 8riders strong. None the less considering this disadvantage we had clear objectives to do no more than work on the process for the 5 riders who will also race the giro. Elia viviani is our track star and was a class act today, dall' Antonia relishes the team TT and was seriously impressive to see him turn on the HP today. Our team leader continues to show great signs of improving his condition and pulled very strong. I did my job, nothing great, I did not feel perfect but also most importantly I did not slow things down either so all in all was a good day. I love these events as it reminds me off a rowing race. Normally we have 8 riders or nine in the giro which is the amount for the 8+ in rowing. Normally I assume the coxain role and like to encourage all the guys and a little push here and there. Unfortunately today with so few riders recovery was limited to half and I did not have the spare juice in the tank to try and aid morale. In the giro we will be 9 strong so I am determined to make sure I can assume the role I enjoy the most.
So in the end as expected we lost time to some strong teams. It's arrogant to think 5 can pull harder than 8 at this level. It's not just the speed thats the issue, it's all the things required to generate the speed. With More riders you simply get more recovery and with more recovery you are fresher and able to pedal much harder for longer. Anyway today was what it was and was a good hit out and a great starting point as the additional 4 riders we will have for the giro will certainly add a huge amount of horse power to our team TT effort.
So with today's novel day out of the way we get into some longer harder mountain stages so I am looking forward to that. Tomorrows stage particularly looks great as it has much more uphill than down which is just the type of day I enjoy the most. Through in the fact that it's 230km and will be a great day out in the dolomite's,