Once again, Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow was our man at the finish in Tropea as the Aussie riders came rolling in:
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto, 2nd at 0'03)
"I would have liked to have won but Bettini was too strong. He went away on the steep bit...he just went. Then Petacchi and Cookie followed him and we were just dangling on the wheel. Then he just went another gear and said: 'catch this'. He opened up a big lead and I saw that we wouldn't catch him. I went from the last corner and I gapped everyone else. Bettini put everything into winning the jersey, but maybe tomorrow... "
Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux, 4th at 0'04)
"It's great to be back in form in a Grand Tour. That finishing hill was a mongrel. I was right on Petacchi but Bettini just hit the afterburners and he was gone. But they were all positive signs today. My legs are feeling good and I reckon I have the form to get a win over the next couple of weeks. Maybe not on a straight run in, where it's hard to get past Petacchi, but in the finishes where there are plenty of corners, it gives us an opportunity for us to upset his train.
Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis, 61st at 0'23)
"Ah, the group split and I probably lost a few seconds. It was pretty lumpy today and that hill 800 metres out was a ripper. I felt about as good as I can expect, seeing as I haven't raced in a month. I reckon it'll take a few more days to get competitive in these finishes."
Trent Wilson (Colombia-Selle Italia, 152nd at 1'02)
"The last 10 km was like riding a Bay Crit. Matty Wilson, Cookie, Stuey, Robbie, Gatesy... all there together."
Russell Van Hout (Colombia-Selle Italia, 189th at 1'55)
"Yeah it was pretty comfortable. It's nice to have an easy start to the Giro. That was easier than the prologue."