At the start of Thursday's Giro d'Italia stage, Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster wasn't even sure there would be a sprint finish. But when Directeur Sportif Christian Henn during the race announced that the run-in to the finish line was downhill and not as steep as reported, then he thought "that maybe it would work out with a sprint."
Förster explained, "On the last hill I felt super. Next to me I saw some wobbling, but I had no problems. And then I instantly had the feeling, 'oh yeah, this is my day.'"
Writing on radsport-news.de, he said that teammates Sven Krauss and Thomas Fothen brought him into position. "Then on the ascent it was harakiri. Just ride brutally, don't think about it. I don't know how often I tangled with Napolitano and we bumped into each other. In the press conference the Italians wanted to make something of that, but it was nothing unusual. Sprinting is a hard business."
Going into the final sprint, "300 metres before the finish there was a right-hand curve, in which Napolitano and I tangled again. That is the last thing I really remember. It goes so quickly, you function without really thinking.
"I won't really enjoy this victory until later, after the Giro maybe. But of course it is a wonderful feeling. And not just for me. The win was important to the team. A stage win was our goal and now we have it."