The Giro d'Italia is finally over and now I can’t wait to get home. But before I switch off for a few days I wanted to share my final thoughts in my final blog from the race.
It's been a hard but satisfying Giro d'Italia for lots of reasons. The Giro is always hard for everybody because it's a difficult race; it's not similar to the Vuelta or the Tour, it has its own kind of logic, as we saw on some stages like the Montecassino or Bari.
The hardest part of the whole Giro was the weather and its impact on the race each day. That was especially the case on the Val Martello stage. On the descent of the Stelvio because of the cold, we were on the limit of what is possible in terms of physical effort, we could hardly keep control of our bikes. People think the racing is hard and it is, but its moments like the Stelvio that make the Giro so hard to handle.
For me personally it's also been a difficult Giro. I was involved in the Montecassino crash. I went down as the peloton was racing at 70 km/h and I was injured and had a lot of problems. But my efforts to carry on and fight the pain have been rewarded right up to the end of the race by what Cadel and all my teammates have said about me and how the whole team has raced.
There has been a lot of satisfaction for the BMC team, starting from when we did a good team time trial in Belfast. Cadel was going really well in the first ten days, as were the team and we enjoyed controlling the race when Cadel was in the leader's pink jersey. He gave 100% and I think we all gave 100% too. When somebody gives 100% to the team and in the race, you can't ask for more.
Obviously I've got a lot of personal memories I'll take home with me from the Giro. There's been lots of talk about the Val Martello stage but if you talk to riders, the stage Savona was one of the toughest of the race. Even if there was a big break and Michael Rogers won alone, it was 250km long, we went full gas from the word go and there wasn't a moment's rest to be honest. That made it the hardest day for me.
Most riders will get some time off after finishing the Giro d'Italia but not me. I'll be heading home on Monday and, then I've got the GP Kanton Aargau race in Switzerland on June 12 and then the ZLM Toer, then I'll be easing back. I'm not going to be doing the Tour de France, it's time to rest.