Cancellara: They need to respect us as humans

By Shane Stokes in Monteverginie Tuesday's rest day turned out not to be a day of rest after all,...

By Shane Stokes in Monteverginie

Tuesday's rest day turned out not to be a day of rest after all, with riders facing a flight from Sardinia to mainland Italy and then a drive to their team hotels. In addition to that, a delay in the ferry taking some of the bikes and team cars meant that several teams were unable to train, prompting a letter of protest from the AIGCP chairman Patrick Lefevere.

CSC rider Fabian Cancellara was certainly not impressed, and said as much to Cyclingnews prior to the start of stage four.

"What happened yesterday was not very nice," he stated. "The organisers showed again that they can do what they want and are not showing very much respect to the riders.

"We had our bikes in time but some other teams didn't. This is nothing to do with sport. People talk about the doping problems but then we have this kind of thing to deal with. They [the organisers] have hard stages, they have a transfer like this and then they want everything to seem good. But what happened yesterday is very, very bad for cycling. You should not be able to have things like this in this race.

"This is about respecting riders as humans. I personally had time [to train], I stayed relaxed, I didn't make myself crazy about this but yesterday was too much. That was really too much. For all of cycling it is not nice. We go full gas every day and then we need to be able to stay calm after that."

The Swiss rider made a valid point that riders need to be considered when organisers are designing routes for their races. He clearly feels strongly about the subject, as he spoke for a couple of minutes on the issue before finally moving on to his goals in the race.

"It is always like this," he continued. "It is the same as what happened last year with the big transfers. I spoke yesterday to the riders association about writing a letter. It is up to the teams to do something. We are on the bike racing hard, then we need good recovery after that.

"We were travelling from nine o'clock to almost four o'clock yesterday. I think a rest day should be a rest day, not like what happened. Okay, after three days racing maybe it is early for a recovery day, but if it is supposed to be a day off, then it should be a day off."

As regards his targets in the Giro, he said that he will be carrying out team duties and perhaps go on the attack if the right circumstances arrive. "I don't really have a goal in the Giro. I will finish the race early, perhaps after the first mountain stages, then go to the Tour of Switzerland afterwards. My plan is to what I can here, helping the young riders and working for the team, then we will see what happens.

"Andy Schleck and Dave [Zabriskie] are the guys for the overall, they will do what they can. I am sure that they are going to do a good Giro. As for me, I have no special ambition. If I see a chance perhaps I will try, but I can't say for sure that I will attack today or tomorrow."

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