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Fröhlinger's Italian lessons – Piano, por favore

Fröhlinger was hungry all day long on a day where the pace was finally slow

Fröhlinger was hungry all day long on a day where the pace was finally slow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After one week of racing in the Giro d'Italia, many are tired and Johannes Fröhlinger of Gerolsteiner reported in his diary for that during stage nine many called out for riding piano and regulare. Indeed, only two riders were interested in jumping from the gun, with Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R La Mondiale) taking off as soon as the neutral section was over and Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone) joining him shortly thereafter.

Fröhlinger was content to sit in, but had one problem. "Because of the slow speed I was permanently hungry and couldn't eat enough." It wasn't until the end, when Bettini jumped, that things got hectic and Fröhlinger had to do what he is paid for. "I stayed with Frösi [sprinter Robert Förster] and Thommy [Thomas Fothen], which is good for [their] morale."

They made it OK over the top and usually the day is over for the German, as "I am not so good in the scramble just before the finish." But Förster got boxed in and had to be taken back to the front again. "Volker [Ordowski] and I took Frösi and Thommy back to the front. 800 metres before the finish I delivered them to the right wheels and peeled off." Förster managed sixth in the end.

The worst part about the Giro this year are the transfers and Fröhlinger wrote that "we had a 430-kilometre transfer. Fortunately, we were able to do that in the evening still. We didn't arrive until midnight, but at least we have all of Monday as a rest day. One half of the team preferred to go via car, while the other half, including myself, took the bus. It took an hour longer, but at least I could stretch my legs and even lie down."

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