British team wants Giro stage victory
By Gregor Brown in Sondrio, Italy
Barloworld's Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas are aiming to help the squad take a stage victory when the Giro d'Italia continues today. The British duo is hoping to escape on either today's stage to Locarno or tomorrow's test to Varese.
"We will try with Stage 17 and 18," said Cummings. "We will look for a breakaway, but [Mark] Cavendish is there and High Road will bring the stage down for a sprint. Stage 18 is good, but everyone will be egunning for it."
Cummings said he was frustrated by seeing riders holding onto vehicles during the recent mountain stages. The Briton noted those riders will be the same ones that have to fend off if the squad is to claim a stage win in the event's final week.
"We were frustrated the other day, looking back down the hill and seeing some guys holding guys on the cars," he said. "They are the guys who will be fighting in the coming stages against us. Even guys you are riding with are getting pushed up while you are there working on your own."
Thomas noted that the squad's general classification hopes took an unfortunate turn for the worse with Mauricio Soler's withdrawal. Despite the team's overall hopes fading, Thomas has vowed to help fight on for stage wins.
"We have been unlucky in this race, with all the crashes and people abandoning," he said. "We will get out there and race hard. I am looking forward to the last stage."
Thomas finished six minutes behind Monday's stage winner Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) on the difficult mountain time trial. It wasn't all bad news for the Briton though, with the 22 year-old getting his first cable car ride on the Plane de Corones mountain.
"I have never been in one of them before," he said. "I am knocked out; that was hard. You couldn't ride easy. I paced the day quite well, and I knew the end would be tough five kilometres. In the end it was just survival, about getting up the mountain."