The Italian road champion, decked out in national champion’s kit, has been an ever-present ally in first Svein Tuft's and then Matthews' defence of the maglia rosa, helping to shepherd both riders through the opening week of racing.
It's widely considered that Matthews will give up his race lead on Saturday’s stage to Montecopiolo however with Santaromita sitting in the top ten it’s not unfathomable to imagine that the former BMC rider will began is own quest for glory and a possible tilt at a high overall placing.
In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, Santaromita talks about the pride and emotion he feels when it comes to wearing the national champion’s jersey on home soil and in Italy’s biggest race. He also talks about riding in Matthews’ defence, a stage to Oropa which runs near his home and his hopes for the overall. After such a week of devotion and sacrifice few within the peloton would begrudge Santaromita his moment.