You're 22 years old, in your first season with a Pro Tour team, get called up at the last minute to ride the Giro d'Italia which will be, of course, your very first Grand Tour, and then you find out that you are going to be the very first rider to set off in the Stage 1 time trial. How would you react?
"I was very nervous," said T-Mobile's Frantisek Rabon on www.t-mobile-team.com. "So many cameras and so much attention was focused on me at that moment." His teammates added to the nerves: "Jan and Mick Rogers had been joking with me beforehand that I just needed to stay upright on the bike in order to ride into the virtual maglia rosa - for a minute, anyway." He finished 153rd, with a time of exactly 9 minutes.
The Czech rider only learned on Tuesday that he would be riding the Giro, and was at home recovering from a busy spring schedule, including the Circuit de la Sarthe, Niedersachsen and Rheinland-Pfalz, when the call came. He's doing his best to find out what to expect from these three weeks.
"He has been asking a lot of questions, wondering what it's like to ride a race as long and as hard as the Giro," says teammate Scott Davis. "I have been trying to answer his questions, but he will see for himself." The youngest on the Giro team is sharing a room with the oldest on the Giro team, Serguei Gonchar, who is 35, and who is also helping the youngster. Rabon notes, "He's been on the Giro podium and he's a time trial specialist. His advice helped settle my nerves before the prologue."