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Michael Barry Report — Giro d’Italia

May 18, 2005 – We are now at the first rest day and about half way through the Giro. The first half of the race has left much of the peloton bruised and battered as there have been several crashes and many riders have been counting the kilometers until the rest day.

The time differences between the hitters for the overall classification haven’t really changed all that much since the start of the race but in the next week it will quickly become apparent which riders will contest the final Giro podium.

On the rest days we wake up late, eat a normal breakfast, go for a short ride, have some lunch, get a massage, catch up on emails and phone calls, and try to relax as much as possible before we have to get back on the road again.

Paolo Savoldelli is looking stronger each day and is confident as we head into the mountains. He had a great time trial but in the middle of last week he lost 40 seconds when he was caught behind a crash as we approached the finish line. If he hadn’t lost the time there he would be leading the race in the pink jersey. The team has suffered a little in the last few days as Ryder sustained several bad abrasions from a brutal crash and our climbing ace Tom Danielson had to quit the race due to a knee injury.

Ryder pushed himself through some incredible pain the last couple of days so that he could get to the rest day and recover as much as possible before the mountains. Tomorrow we have our last flat stage before the hills begin. The stage is long but pancake flat with finishing circuits at the end. It will be one of the last days for the sprinters to vie for victory. We will simply try and keep Paolo out of the wind and as fresh as possible for the coming mountains.





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Michael Barry Report — Giro d’Italia

May 11, 2005 — The last couple of days have been pretty chaotic at the Giro as the finishes have been technical. During the last 50 km of each stage the speed increases drastically as everyone pushes to be at the front. Each team tries to outride the other teams at the front so that they can keep their leaders in good position for the final. Basically the road is blocked curb to curb with riders and to move up you have to be aggressive, diving into every available space while bouncing off other guys. All at about 60 kmh.

Our goal the last two days was to ensure Paolo was in a good spot at the front before the final push to the finish. Yesterday there was a fairly tough climb so Tony, Pavel and I rode full gas at the front to ensure he was well positioned. Once we got to the bottom of the climb, our work was done and we sat up to save our legs. Essentially it take at least half of the team riding full out to place the leader for the finish.

Today was a little different. With 10 km to go we were well placed at the front when a crash splintered the peloton. I got caught up in the mess of bikes and had to wait for a spare wheel while the other guys were forced to chase and try to get Paolo back to the front group – a difficult task when they’re charging along at 60 kmh up front.

Tonight we are staying in the mountains of Abruzzo and tomorrow we will be racing through them.






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