Thomas Rohregger is one of the surprises of this year's Giro, having finished in the top 20 in all five stages so far. No surprise, perhaps, that the Milram climber did so well in yesterday's mountain stage, but he also finished high in the two previous sprint stages.
The Austrian has a secret weapon, which may explain his success – his mother's home-baked bread. The Milram rider swears by the bread for breakfast, so his mother back home in Austria stays busy baking and sending him fresh loaves every few days.
The bread seems to be working, as the Austrian is currently 15th overall in the Giro, and looking to improve even more as the race moves into the mountains. "Tommy" was able to stay with the leading group in Tuesday's finale, finishing 28th, 13 seconds down.
The 26-year-old is new to the German team this year, coming over from the Austrian Professional Continental Team Elk Haus. He started his season at the Tour Down Under and most recently finished 28th overall in the Tour de Romandie. The biggest success in his career so far is his overall victory in the 2008 Tour of Austria.
Rohregger is particularly looking forward to Wednesday's and Thursday's stages. Today's fifth stage "will be difficult, with some extremely steep portions, but a lot of my friends and acquaintances will make the trip to the South Tyrol," he noted on the team's website, team-milram.com. "I rode this stage last Wednesday. I like to think that I know every meter of this long climb."
And he is naturally looking forward to tomorrow's stage, not because of the 248 km to be ridden, but because it goes into his homeland. Rohregger can expect a lot of fan support as the stage goes into the finale in Mayrhofen, and leaves the next morning from Innsbruck, before heading back into Italy.