May 23, 2010 (Friuli, Italy) – We caught up with Canada’s Michael Barry (Team Sky) at the Giro as riders enjoy the second rest day at the grueling 3-week major stage race that wraps up next weekend. This is Barry’s third Giro and he’s feeling fit as he provides an inside look at the ups and downs of this season’s first Grand Tour.
How are you feeling after two weeks in the saddle at the Giro?
Michael Barry: Overall, I feel good. The last couple of days, my legs were a bit sore after a few hard days on the front as I went quite deep but on Sunday, I felt better and hopefully after the rest day I will be fully recovered. The ambiance in the team is good which makes a big difference to recovery and overall morale.
You had a great start with team mate Brad Wiggins winning the opening ITT in Holland – was the general feeling in the peloton positive with the novel start in Holland?
MB: Many riders found the first few days stressful due to the wind, roundabouts and traffic islands. It was obviously an abnormal start for the Giro but, I think, it added an interesting element to the race. We were ready for it and made the most of the stages. Sadly, Wiggo was caught in a few crashes but overall the team was proactive and attacked the course from the start – which is important when the conditions are challenging.
Following that auspicious start how did Team Sky’s strategy change after your leader Wiggins’ unfortunate crashes in Holland following his ITT victory?
MB: We kept our focus and aimed to achieve our goals. The TTT was a big objective for us and we came very close to winning. The team rode perfectly but unfortunately we were caught in a brutal storm midway through. According to the time checks, we would have won had we not ridden in the rain – but, that’s bike racing. Otherwise, Henderson has been close in a few sprint stages and we’ve been well represented in all of the key breakaways. The team’s performance has been quite consistent and solid.
Tell us about your role on the team, how it’s evolved over the past two weeks, and what’s the strategy over the final stages?
MB: Essentially, my job has been to take care of Brad – which means keeping him out of the wind and in position. You could call the job ‘wing man’. Now that he has lost time in the overall classification, after a bad day on Zoncolan, our strategy will change and we will all aim for stage victories.
This is your third Giro – not that they get any easier but are you feeling more at ease with the grueling pace of three weeks of racing?
MB: Yes, definitely. I know what to expect and how to gauge my effort which overall, makes the race a bit easier. Energy conservation is key – you need to use it wisely as you can pay dearly for wasting it needlessly.
How has the unexpected situation regarding Floyd Landis affected things – is there more to add since this news broke?
MB: I was shocked. This obviously tired me out, especially as I have been racing 200+ km a day. I have had a tremendous amount of support from my family, friends, fans and team which has been wonderful.
What’s on tap after the Giro and how will you prepare for your first appearance at the Tour de France?
MB: I will stay home and take it easy to recover. Then I will likely attend a training camp with a few of my teammates for a few days mid June. Otherwise, I will spend most of the month at home in Girona with my family.
Any comments on the upcoming TdF as it’ll be your first time at cycling’s biggest race on the calendar?
MB: At the moment I am on the long list for the Tour and obviously hope to be selected but also understand the team needs to send the best riders for specific roles. My fitness is good at the moment and I know it will improve from the workload of the Giro so I am confident I’ll be in form in July.
All the best with the rest of the Giro and the season ahead.