Danilo Di Luca is savouring his Giro d'Italia win with a serious of criterium appearances. Yesterday, the 31 year-old rider from Abruzzo was in Chieti for a scratch race that he won over Gilberto Simoni and Filippo Pozzato.
"The win in Liège [Liège-Bastogne-Liège] gave me respect from the experts. The Giro win gave me the gift of popularity," explained Di Luca to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He had spent a lot of his time signing autographs for some of the 20,000 fans that arrived to watch the race.
"It is almost an assault," 'The Killer' continued of his popularity. "In Pescara [home town - ed.] I am almost not able to leave the house. And elsewhere, as soon as I stop, if it at a newsstand or store, I am immediately recognised, pointed at and, sometimes, followed. ... It makes me happy."
The parade lap will soon be over and Di Luca will focus on his end-of-season objectives: the Worlds and the ProTour overall. "Now I am back on the bike - ten days of 'stop' was sufficient to restore the desire to start again. I will return to race in the Brixia Tour, July 26 to 29. Objective: the Worlds."