Video: Hepburn and McCarthy on riding in the grupetto

Australian duo in survival mode

For two young Australians at the Giro d'Italia, the third mountainous week of the Italian grand tour is all about the survival in the grupetto. 

This is the first three-week race for Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) who have both enjoyed teammates winning stages but are now focused on making it to Trieste on June 1 and completing their maiden corsa rosa.

Hepburn's Giro got off to the best possible start with Orica-GreenEdge winning the team time trial and giving Svein Tuft a pink jersey for his 37th birthday. Teammate Michael Matthews then spent six days in pink and won stage six while Pieter Weening went and won stage 9 for good measure.

It hasn't been all easy sailing for the Australian team since though with just three GreenEdge riders left in the Giro — Tuft and Ivan Santamorita are keeping Hepburn company on the bus.

For McCarthy, it has also been a successful first giri with Rafal Majka spending the majority of the race in the maglia bianco and Michael Rogers solo stage 11 win.

McCarthy and Hepburn sat down in Cyclingnews to talk about the stress and "carrying on" in the grupetto and have a tinkle of the ivories.

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