Scott Sunderland's giro diary

Ivan Basso and Gilberto Simoni

Ivan Basso and Gilberto Simoni (Image credit: Sirotti)

Long days, but good days

Stage 17 - Wednesday, May 24: Termeno/Tramin - Furkel Pass, 121 km

That was going to be one of the biggest days of the whole Giro, but in fact, the weather changed the plans. The mountain pass in the middle was cancelled, and we went around through the valley. Then the last five kilometres of Kronplatz were cancelled too. The cold temperatures made it a survival day more than anything else, without changes to the GC. From our point of view, well, Piepoli won the stage, that was OK. Ivan was second, and picked up a bit of extra time on Gutierrez and the others on the GC, so that was good too.

Stage 18 - Thursday, May 25: Sillian - Gemona Del Friuli, 210 km

This was a long day for our team. They constantly had to ride tempo - not do too much, but do enough to keep the break at a reasonable limit, and keep some of the other teams interested in chasing it down. Just more or less controlling it. On such a day, with steep climbs, it zapped the legs, probably one of the toughest days on our boys. Nicki Sorensen was sick, and couldn't do much because of a chest infection. He had been on antibiotics for three days, and suffered in silence, gritting his teeth to come through. But he was able to bite the bullet, after that he was able to do a lot of work for the team again, like today. I don't know too many people who can get sick in the third week and come through like that. I think the Viking came out in him. Both him and Michael Blaudzun have done an enormous amount of work here from day one. They were really the foot soldiers of the team.

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