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September 13: Feeling the difference

Hi there Cyclingnews readers,

I am getting better and I hope to improve more today and tomorrow, and then in the time trial. I felt good yesterday [Stage 16] and tried to go in a lot of breakaways at the beginning of the stage. I wasted a lot of energy doing that but I was hoping to be in a break and try for the stage win from there.

Now it is not possible for me to be in the early breakaway, so I will just be concentrating my efforts on the end of the race.

It was good for the morale to be attacking at the end. I didn't quite have the confidence to follow those big attacks - I would kind of hesitate and watch them attack, thinking, 'wow, that is impressive'. Then I would start pedalling and see that I could be there [and get back to them]. That is going to be good for my confidence from now on, and for me, I am entering the last week very motivated.

Who knows what is possible, as regards a stage win or other goals? I am going to give it everything I have and we will see. A lot of it is luck and how the race plays out. I mean, who knows - perhaps on one stage I will be the first guy to the top of the climb but there will be a breakaway, or I could have a bad day. You never know in bike racing and the level I am at in my career right now, I am not at the point where my body is just programmed. This is really my third full Grand Tour.

That said, I can definitely feel a difference and I can definitely feel my body responding well; last year, I was completely on the limit in the final week whereas this year I feel quite well. That is a big difference, and I think the next Grand Tour will be better... I will know my body better.

From what Johan says, I think I will be doing the Tour next year. That will be my goal and I hope after this race we will get ready for next season and come out swinging.

Stage 16 results

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With victory in the Tour de Georgia and a top 10 ride at the Vuelta a España, 2005 saw Tom Danielson come of age. Now one of Discovery's leaders, the likable American climbing specialist will be looking to realise the full extent of his incredible stage race potential. But before he addresses a few personal goals, there's the not-so-minor matter of helping Paolo Savoldelli achieve his third victory at the Giro d'Italia in May. Follow his progress on Cyclingnews. Australia UK USA