Australian climber emotional after fighting for every point
When Matt Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) crossed the finish line at the Passo Tonale in pain and deeply disappointed, he thought he had lost the green climber's jersey.
It was only when his team soigneur shouted excitedly that he'd actually won it, and that he had gained enough points during the stage to beat Ivan Basso, that Lloyd's face lit up and he jumped on the soigneur in celebration.
Today he will wear the green jersey during the final time trial around Verona and then pull on one more green jersey on the final podium as the best climber in the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
Lloyd won stage 6 to Marina di Carrara and has fought to defend the jersey everyday since then.
"I was nearly dead when I arrived at the finish but it was emotional to discover I'd won the jersey. It's difficult to describe how I feel. I've won the green climber's jersey in the Giro. I live in Italy have a history here, so it's very special," he told Cyclingnews.
"You go out all day on the attack and you can't be that calculated to know if the exact points were in your favour. When I was in the break I wasn't actually trying to do the maths, I just tried to assert my authority and be first to the top of the climbs. It worked out perfectly in the end."
"I'd never resigned to the fact that I'd lost it, even after Basso took it after the finish in Aprica. I never gave up and knew I had to go for it. We went out and rode."
Lloyd scored 27 points during the stage to Passo Tonale. That gave him a total of 56, well clear of Ivan Basso in second place with 41 points. Johan Tschopp (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) finished third with 38 points after leading the Giro over the Passo Gavia and winning the stage at Passo Tonale.
"It's been my own classification during this Giro and I've chased it all race," Lloyd said. "I didn’t chose to go for the GC and it was a good idea. I won a stage and just kept going for it, day after day. I think I deserved it."