Pre-stage vox-pop

Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow was again our man on the spot at the start of stage 6 in Viterbo, where he cornered a few riders.

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)

We spoke to eventual stage winner Robbie McEwen, who was nursing a sore hamstring after yesterday's 223 km marathon. "Yeah I'm OK, but I've got a bit of a twinge in my hamstring so I hope it doesn't hurt too much today," he said. "It was hard yesterday, I just strained the inside hamstring a bit. I had it worked on last night and this morning by the physio. I'll still try and get amongst it though. Sprinters don't get many chances in this Giro."

Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto)

McEwen's leadout man Henk Vogels was in good spirits, despite being a little sore. "I survived yesterday," he said. "It was a bitch of a stage. No-one really wanted to form a gruppetto. But in the team we got third and fourth, so that was really good. The motivation is high, the team's riding really well. We'll see what happens today with a bunch sprint."

Nick Gates (Davitamon-Lotto)

Nick Gates wasn't quite as chirpy as Vogels, after crashing a couple of days ago. "Yeah it's good, but my knee's still a bit sore after that crash," he said. "I had a really bad day yesterday. I couldn't get out of the saddle for 220 km. Luckily there were a lot of climbs where I could sit down and ride up. I got through it ok, I'll see how it goes today."

Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel)

Cyclingnews diarist Tom Danielson is one of the more talented climbers in the Discovery Channel team, but as he said to us, he's using the Giro to gain valuable experience. "I'm feeling good. It's my first grand tour. I've been told to sit back and relax for the first week, try to learn. The smart thing to do is not to go for every second, but stay out of it, try and learn not to waste all my energy in the first week and then have nothing left. It's more important that I'm there at the end for Paolo [Savoldelli], to be strong enough to be there at the finish, and learn from it.

"In the future I'd like to make this (riding grand tours) my job. For now I'm taking my time, learning, and working for Paolo. He's the leader and he's riding very well. I don't really know how I'm going to feel and what the last week is going to be like. I think those stages will suit me really well, I had really good form a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if that's going to go up, or go down, or what. I have to make sure that Paolo gets to the mountains in good condition. Because now there are a lot of good riders that can climb well and it's important that he gets there stress-free."

How about winning a stage? "If the situation presents itself, we'll see, but I'm not even thinking about that. I'm just thinking about doing the tour, finishing strong, just trying to do things right."

Antonio Cruz (Discovery Channel)

One of Discovery's hard workers is Antonio Cruz, the quietly spoken American told us, "Yesterday was a big day, a lot different to the other days, finally a hard day. The bigger teams came out and showed their strength. Today we've just got to get Savoldelli and Danielson to the finish with no trouble."

Ryder Hesjedal (Discovery Channel)

"It was pretty hard actually," said Hesjedal of stage 5. "A lot of guys were fried, we were going all day. The only soft part was the first 10 km. The first climb was pretty hard, the pace was on. Today is a pretty straightforward sprint stage I think. I imagine it'll be pretty active again. We'll just keep Paolo in good position, make sure he doesn't lose any time, and get ready for the time trial in a couple of days."

Michael Barry (Discovery Channel)

"Yesterday was a hard stage. Now I've recovered again. Today might be harder because of the shortness. The time trial is the first marker to get to."

Christian Vandevelde (CSC)

Yesterday? "It was unneeded," he joked. "Ivan [Basso] looked great. I'm feeling pretty good, every day a bit better."

Julian Dean (Credit Agricole)

Unfortunately, kiwi Julian Dean didn't finish the sixth stage after crashing on the finishing circuit. We did speak to him before the start: "Yesterday was pretty hard. I woke up this morning and felt like I'd really ridden a stage of a grand tour. I hope everyone else is feeling the same. Today's pretty much a sprinters stage so we'll take it as it comes. We're looking for Fassa Bortolo to join on our lead out in the last five k, then move ourselves around them and make our move when we can."

Trent Wilson (Colombia-Selle Italia)

We spoke to one of stage 6's first attackers, Trent 'Willo' Wilson from Colombia-Selle Italia. "I've had better days than yesterday," he admitted. "The dreaded day five legs, you know."

Willo explained his plan for the day: "I'll try and get in a few early moves, but I'd like to save the legs." How do you do that? "Try and go in the moves without hitting the wind."

Russell Van Hout (Colombia-Selle Italia)

Willo's teammate Russell Van Hout was also involved in a crash two days ago. "It bothered me yesterday because I had a really bad day," he said. "I was sore from the break, stiff from the crash, and I just want to get through the next couple of days until the time trial. But when you're out there, unfortunately the adrenaline starts flowing and you can't help yourself trying to get in some of those breaks."

Brett Lancaster (Panaria)

And another crash victim was prologue winner Brett Lancaster. We asked, how's the knee? "I could feel it, but that's bike racing. Grillo is pretty motivated for today. He took it easy yesterday.

"I felt alright yesterday, I even did a bit of a job at the end. It's a bit dangerous today with three laps at the end. I'll be up there taking Grillo up - it'll be a bit like the Bay Crits. Tomorrow, finishing in my home town, I really want to have a go at that. There's a 2 km hill, not far out, really steep. The way these guys are going, I probably won't be able to get away, but I'll give it a go."

Rory Sutherland (Rabobank)

Rory Sutherland wasn't sure how he felt after being in the break for 170 km yesterday. "Yeah, I feel OK. I suppose the real test is when I actually start turning the pedals. I got a good night's sleep and I feel great."

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