Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) cherished his Giro d'Italia stage win on stage four, but cautioned that the race will only get harder today. The Italian rider compared his Giro run to date with his efforts in 2007, when he won the overall title after claiming victory on the event's fourth stage.
"I won after four days in Montevergine and today as well," said Di Luca. "But it's a different Giro because tomorrow we have a stage that is much harder than today's. It's going to be a true stage with a super hard hill."
Di Luca believes another former Giro winner Gilberto Simoni will be difficult to beat on stage five. "[He's] one of the two or three favourites for that stage the, the other one is [Ivan] Basso and the third one could be a surprise," he said. "I'd control him…OK, I'll tell you, it's [Carlos] Sastre."
Celebrations following Di Luca's stage win were short lived as the rider turned his attention to his next goal of claiming the race's maglia rosa. Di Luca is only two seconds behind new race leader Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-Highroad).
Di Luca doesn't shy away from complimenting himself and made no exception when talking about his stage win in San Martino di Castrozza. "I've made a good sprint, but I've also won with intelligence when I started with 350 metres to go behind Mauricio Soler with Stefano Garzelli on my wheel."
Following his stage win Di Luca believes he's just "as explosive as two years ago". The rider added that the field in this year's Giro is of a much higher caliber then in 2007.
"The level is extremely high," he said. "All the best riders in the world are here, except Alberto Contador."