Dario’s Giro: Rockin’ The TT

It was a day of mixed fortunes in the 50 kilometre “cronometro individuale” at Pontedera – Jan Ulrich roared back into the headlines but the climbers were bludgeoned; our man Dario Cioni was happy with his ride though – scoring a top 10 placing…

PEZ – “It was a good day for you Dario, ninth place behind Jan Ulrich at 2-24.”

Dario – “Yes I am very happy with it, I felt OK when I woke-up and we had already decided that we would see how I was going at the first intermediate check, if I was going well then I would ride hard, but if not there would be no point in wasting strength. The check was good, so I rode – this stage was important to me because I live only 30 kilometres from the course and there were many people out to see me. “

PEZ – “So there was pride at stake?”
Dario – “Yes, I did not expect to go as well so I was happy at the finish, I was only two seconds off the top at that time.”

PEZ – “Was the parcours as flat as it looked on TV?”
Dario – “Yes, this made the race much harder than everyone expected, there was nowhere you could rest, normally in a time trial it is rolling and whilst you have to ride hard on the climbs you can recover on the descents. Here you had to ride 100% of the way, maybe a couple for bends where you could ease-off for a few seconds.”

PEZ – “It seemed like the wind changed during the race?”
Dario – “It did, when I spoke to riders who had gone off before me they said it was a tail wind out and a head wind back, but at the end it was the other way.I don’t think Ulrich benefited, maybe Wauters had the best advantage from this.”

PEZ – “What gears did you ride today?”
Dario – “I had a 54 ring with an 11 – 21 cassette, I was in the 13 mostly on the way out at 47/50 kilometres per hour, on the way back it was the 12 and the 13 at 50/53 kph.”

PEZ – “How was your back today?”
Dario – “It’s getting better I had extra treatments to it on the rest day
yesterday.”

PEZ – “Pellizotti is now 6th on GC and Danilo 10th, how will this work out for the team on the stages to come?”
Dario – “I had expected Franco to go a little better today but he is not really a time trial guy, his time was around that of Simoni’s. I think Danilo will be a little disappointed with his ride but I have not had a chance to talk to him since the finish; in the past he has ridden good time trials in the Giro but usually on rolling courses, today was so flat it was really hard for him. The time gaps after today look big, but remember that in the mountains you can easily lose 20 minutes. Danilo must go on the attack to get time back, but Franco can adopt a more defensive role watching Basso, so it gives us two options. The important thing is always that the team rides as a team.”

PEZ – “How do you see tomorrow going?”
Dario – “It could be very hard, remember that for maybe 70 or 80 guys a time trial like that is another rest day, so they will be on the attack tomorrow. For me and the other guys who rode flat-out today it could be a hard day, 50 kilometres at 100% takes a lot out of you. If a break is the right composition and is allowed to go early it could be an easy day, but if some sprinters survive and set their teams to work it could be a very difficult finale.”

PEZ – “And finally, what about Ulrich, were you surprised?”
Dario – “Not at all, I rode with him in Romandie and he is like different rider now, he has been improving day by day, some days riding hard and other days recovering. He is very strong in the time trials so his ride today was no surprise to me.”

Our next date with Dario is on Saturday after 218 kilometre stage 13, which climbs gradually – but not so gradually at the end – for 210 kilometres.It’s not all bad though – the last 8 kilometres are downhill!

• Check out Dario’s fresh new website at CioniDario.com, see his team at TeamLiquigas.it,
– and stay tuned to PEZ for more from Il Giro!