Willo survives another day

By John Trevorrow in Limone Piemonte

For Colombia-Selle Italia's Trent Wilson, Milan is tantalisingly close, with just one more big mountain stage to survive. But today was nearly the end for Willo and 10 others as they caught the last bus up the Colle di Tenda, finishing a minute inside the time limit.

Wilson was not looking the best when we talked to him in the morning before the stage. "The whole team's got head colds except for Russ - he's got bronchitis," said Wilson. "Everyone gets sick but now we just keep getting knocked down. One minute you crash, next minute you've got sore legs, then you get a head cold."

Afterwards, he described his day, which got off to a bad start. "The pressure was on right from the start. On the first climb it split, and we ended up with about twenty in that gruppetto, including Russell and Henk. We descended and climbed again, and a few guys put the pressure on and I went with them, so we got back on. But the other guys had to chase another 40 km to get back on.

"I don't believe anyone that finish today wouldn't have had a really hard ride. The pace was on all day. We only got inside the time limit by one minute. In the last hour, we were thinking we wouldn't get in, but about 8 km out, we knew we would just get in."

Wilson's team is enjoying one of its best ever Giri d'Italia. "Jose [Rujano] is looking really good. I reckon he can pass Simoni, even beat him in the time trial. He was third in the time trial in Malaysia, and I think he'll surprise a lot of people. He could even take time out of Simoni on Saturday. It's so steep and that's when he's at his best."

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