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"I’ve a lot of data from the last five Grand Tours I’ve done and I can tell you this has been the hardest, by the feelings and by the numbers. It’s been a tough race. It’s a very competitive field and also the c...

Photo: Sirotti






18.05.2015 @ 16:33 Posted by Renaud Breban

During the first week of the Giro d'Italia, Michael Rogers helped Alberto Contador to take and to defend his maglia rosa. The Australian rider did his best, but he admits that it was difficult. Since leaving San Remo last weekend, there has been a lot of falls, stress, nervousness and attacks.

"I’ve a lot of data from the last five Grand Tours I’ve done and I can tell you this has been the hardest, by the feelings and by the numbers. It’s been a tough race. It’s a very competitive field and also the course… Today [Sunday] had more than 4,000 metres of climbing… It’s a tough race", Rogers told Cyclingnews. "We have spent a lot of energy and it’s completely different when you sit in the bunch all day," Rogers said. "On these little climbs, like the final one [on Sunday], if you sit in the bunch for 200 kilometres beforehand, you have that burst of energy, whereas our team has been lining it up from kilometre zero. Does it have its costs? It sure does, but we love this race, we really respect the maglia rosa and we’ll keep riding as hard as we can to keep it."


In his rest day press conference, El Pistolero admitted that he and his team had considered trying to rid themselves of the pink jersey temporarily over the weekend – on stage 8, Lampre-Merida’s Przemyslaw Niemiec was a possible candidate – but thus far, the composition of the early breaks has never quite been amenable. "There were big numbers going away and we had to keep refining the break," Rogers said of the early exchanges on Sunday. "We spent a lot of energy but it goes to a worthy cause, the maglia rosa. I think this was one of the most difficult days of the race but I hope they start to slow down soon – it would make our job a lot easier."

Alberto Contador crashed in the finishing straight in Castiglione della Pescaia on stage 6 and suffered from his shoulder. "I think his shoulder is obviously better and the riding position is one of the only positions that doesn’t give him pain. We know he’s tough. He’s won more Grand Tours than probably the rest of the bunch and sports directors put together, so we have a lot of faith in that, and we’ll keep dedicating all our energy to keep him in the jersey", Rogers added.





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