Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears rider Imanol Erviti is currently riding the Giro, his first grand tour, which is a dream come true according to the 22-year-old Spaniard. He lies in 127th place overall, almost one hour behind leader Ivan Basso, but isn't worried about his ranking on GC, instead he's just happy to be riding one of the world's biggest races, something he aims to learn from.
"I always watched those races [such as the Giro] on TV with the secret hope that, one day, I would take part in one of them myself," said Erviti. "It's a fact that the first time you start in such a race you are there to learn, but what I've felt since the very first stage is something very beautiful! I am carrying out the dream of a child who was found of cycling!" he added.
Ermiti said his goals for the Giro are to do his share of work for the team and learn as much as he can. "Because I am a rookie in this kind of race the first thing I want is my team directors and my team-mates to be happy with my job," he said. "After that what I most desire is to learn and learn again - as many things I can! I also need to accumulate experience for the future because I will need that if someday I want to be with the leaders."
As the race heads towards the tall mountains of Italy, the young rider is pleased with how he's feeling, considering it's all still very new to him. "I am satisfied because I don't think I've drawn from my reserves yet; it's very important before facing the last week," he explained. "Now I am a little bit disappointed because I hoped to get an opportunity to go with some breaks but it was not the case - on the other hand, however, I am happy because I had the chance to be in front and see how the leaders behave in such a race [as the Giro]."
Importantly, Ermiti is also learning how his body can handle a grand tour, and he's listening to it carefully. "I also have to learn how my body reacts during such a long race, that’s the reason why I am living from day to day," he explained. "I'm very respectful of those [mountainous] stages, but on the other hand all the riders will start from the same point to arrive in the same one too - nobody will start with any kind of advantage. I will try to do my best and I'm ready to suffer. I will do everything I can," he said.
Overall, how does the young Spaniard rate the race organisation in his first grand tour? "I think the organisation is pretty good," he said. "So many people are working here that they take care of every kind of problem. The riders have nothing else to do but to pedal!" he said. And he's also pretty fond of Italy's food, too. "It's also very nice for us to come here because the food is not so different from the one we eat in Spain and that's an important factor for a rider," he said. "Italy enchants me!"