By John Trevorrow in Ravenna
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)
(When we caught up with Robbie, he was lying on his hotel bed, enjoying dinner)
CN: How did you spend the rest day?
"Just resting today - I needed it. I've been feeling a bit ordinary the last few days. I came into the Giro without a really good base because I've been crook for a while. I rushed my preparation to make the Giro start in any sort of condition. Over the last two or three days it's really been starting to catch up with me, so I only had about an hour and a quarter on the bike today. The rest of the day I had a massage, some physio... mate, I'm dead - I'm making a real resting of it."
CN: Tomorrow's the last day on the flats - how are you going to go?
"Tomorrow's [Stage 10] totally flat and it should be a sprint, but it's supposed to be raining tomorrow so it'll be a little more dangerous and a little more hectic. I think Petacchi will be desperate for another win, even though the pressure is off him a little."
Nick Gates (Davitamon-Lotto)
('Gatesy' was next to McEwen, also enjoying the rest)
"I spent today the same as Robbie - an hour and a bit on the bike, a massage and a rest. I got out of bed at 10:40 this morning after ten hours sleep, had some breakfast, went for the ride and then had lunch - and I've been in bed ever since. I'll get out of bed tomorrow and be on my way again - I'm feeling good, and we're halfway through the Giro tomorrow; I'm recovering well each day."
Russell Van Hout (Selle Italia-Colombia)
"Today was a fantastic day - a quiet day, the best day of the Giro. Went for a 25km ride - a hit-out with Willo, Stuey and Whitey; it started to rain so we headed to a cafe. Lo and behold if we don't see another bunch of Aussies - Baden, Matt and Mark - so we had a brew with them and headed back for lunch and a lie down. Then it was time for a rub, more of a lie down and dinner. Now I'm catching up with more Aussie friends!"
Trent Wilson (Selle Italia-Colombia)
(With 'Russ' at the hotel bar)
"You can't improve on that - gold! It's all about kicking back. To be honest I don't even feel like I'm on tour. I feel like the Giro finished yesterday - I'm having a beer with some mates, and it feels like I'm back in Oz! Seriously though, I feel refreshed physically, and even more so mentally; I'm ready to go again for a couple more weeks."
Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis)
(Relaxing in the hotel lounge with wife Ann Marie and son Seth)
"It's great to lie back and take it easy. I had to ride myself into this race, but I'm feeling pretty good and relaxed."
CN: Will he be riding for another couple of days before pulling out?
"You can't just say you're pulling out of a grand tour - but I'll go for a couple of days in the mountains to prepare for July. Whitey was scratching around at some ungodly hour this morning, so there was no sleep in for me."
Matt White (Cofidis)
CN: So you woke Stuey up this morning?
"I wake up at the same time - 7.30 - every morning, no matter what time I get to bed. I try to be quiet, but you know... it's been a pretty quiet rest day today, a cruisy day. It's pretty lousy weather outside, so we only rode for an hour. Tomorrow's a 200km stage on the flat, so it's not like we need to warm up.
"I'm really happy with my form - I did a lot of work before the Giro and I feeling pretty strong. Yesterday, I was right near the front helping Stuey, and it was about as close to the front as I'll get in this race so far, because I don't want to die! The sprints are getting pretty dangerous! There'll be a stage when most of the sprinters have gone, and Petacchi's gone too, and I might be able to get up the road and win one."
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