What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro Talk: Backstedt Diaries & Rider Comments

Day 5! – Another very easy day. We had a climb to get over after half the race. It was about 25 km long, but we went easy until 1km from the top. After that the speed picked up a bit and Cippollini’s boys started riding on the front. I was well looked after by the team all the way in to 3km to go. In the last corner we all went a bit too fast and almost crashed. This took a lot of energy for me to get going again. So by the time the sprint started I was already lactating a fair bit. I just managed to stay in my position and ended up running 12th on the stage.

Rest day!
Nothing much is really happening on the rest days. All we do is sleep and then go for a short ride. Then in the afternoon it’s massage and maybe there is time for another short sleep. Winnie and me ended up going to a Internet cafй for a little look around. Then it was back to the room. So I can’t really say it’s that exiting. I feel like there is no real time to relax properly, so basically it is a day without rest but not really a proper rest day. Now it’s time for bed again.Speak to you tomorrow again.

Day 6

Nice big day in the break today. The stage was 222km and I was in the break for 167. We started out quite fast with a few attacks. I was keeping myself well in the front but without doing too much. After about 40km the attacks stopped for a few km and then I thought to myself that when this picks up again it’s time to go with the moves. And only a few small attacks later I got in a position to make an attack. The road was going slightly uphill and I just put it in the 11 and went as hard as I could for about 2km. Then I turned around and found out that there was only 2 guys on my wheel and they were breathing pretty hard, so I took another turn just to make the gap a bit bigger before I let the other boys come through. For the rest of the day we were just swapping off and I was feeling really good the whole time. On the biggest climb of the day I was doing the pace making. I let the other boys come to the front once or twice, but they weren’t going quite fast enough so I went past them again. I have never been in that position on a climb before, so it gave me a mega confidence boost.

After the climbs we had about 40km on the flat to do, and the sprinter teams had started to work, so the time gap was coming down. With about 30 km to go I was thinking of going on my own, but I knew there was a big stretch of head wind and I wasn’t quite sure if I could ride faster than the 2 boys on that bit. I felt that I was going much better than them on the flat. Then with 10 km to go I made one final effort to get away, but the peloton was already too close. I ended up getting caught with 6km to go. I was a bit dark I didn’t make it all the way to the finish, but then again. He who dares!!!

Magnus Backstedt
Team Fakta

Rider Comments reprtoed by Michele Tomasi
Magni: “Van Steembergen has been one of the best cyclist of all the story. Beside his many victories in Belgium, and at the World Cup, just a few people remember his 2nd place at one Giro d’Italia. He was a sprinter, but with big class. I think that if he was born in Italy, where we have many mountains, he could become more and more stronger that what he was”.

Petacchi: “I didn’t think to win today. The last metres were on downhill and I thought that Mario was the favourite, because of his weight. So I tried to sprint before him, to surprise him and so I fought with Galvez. I gave all myself, and I think it was a sprint to do with 54 ahead. There’s no emotions like the victory of Lecce, but it’s always nice to win with the Pink Jersey. Tomorrow I know that I will lose for sure the Pink Jersey, and anyway I will work for my team captains Dario Frigo and Gonzales Aitor”.

Cipollini: “What can I say? I really don’t know what I can say. My condition should be at the top now, but it isn’t, and it’s an important moment of my season. I’m afraid for my team mates, because they work really well every time, and it’s my fault if the results don’t come. Also my sponsors were waiting for results that didn’t come. Maybe I’m getting old, and so I leave space to the young guys”.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.