FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — With eight stages and 1,417 kilometers down, the Giro d’Italia’s American contingent has dropped to five.
Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling) suffered from a suspected pinched nerve on the first rest day and couldn’t feel part of his leg. His team doctors had him abandon on Friday; he was disappointed but understood the decision.
The remaining five Americans appear to be in good spirits, albeit with slightly battered bodies. None complained of any real pain on the last rest day and now three of the five have some pain. Their leg scores have mostly dropped as well.
It’s been a good week for a few of them. Joe Dombrowski rode well in support of team leader Rigoberto Urán in the race’s first uphill finish and Chad Haga finished ahead of GC contenders Vincenzo Nibali and Mikel Landa in Sunday’s time trial. The five have avoided major crashes as well.
VeloNews caught up with each American rider on the morning of the Giro’s second rest day, a calm day outside Florence, for the third installment of “Unserious Questions,” wherein we attempt to gain insight into the psyche and body of a grand tour rider through offbeat means. (Be sure to catch up on the first and second installments of this series.)
VeloNews: What was your first thought when you got up this morning?
Nate Brown (Cannondale): “I have to stop rooming with Joe. He gets doping control too often.”
Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale): “Nate is kicking my bed. Wake up. Anti-doping. 8:00 a.m.?! On the rest day??!!”
Joey Rosskopf (BMC): “I hope we do a coffee stop on the ride today.”
Ian Boswell (Sky): “Did my girlfriend enjoy her ride up Logan pass? Photos indicated she did.”
Chad Haga (Giant – Alpecin): “Rest day, everyone’s still asleep, the WiFi should be good for a video call with Kate!”
VN: Who will win the Giro? (You can’t pick a teammate, but you can pick yourself.)
Brown: “I’m, what, 30 minutes behind? I think I can make it up over the next 12 days. For real though, I think Valverde will win.”
Dombrowski: “Thomas Voeckler.” [Dombrowski would be a terrible gambler.]
Rosskopf: “My parents. They’re spending four weeks on the road like us racers except they get to eat their fill of pizza, gelato, and wine along the way.”
VN: Describe your mood today in one word.
Brown: “Zesty.” [Brown gets three bonus points for this excellent descriptor.]
Dombrowski: “Surprisingly peppy.” [We’ll let the adverb slide.]
VN: How many times have you shaved your legs since Apeldoorn?
Brown: “I think only once. I need a new razor head, but I’m too lazy to get one.”
Dombrowski: “Once, leg shaving before a massage is a no no.”
Rosskopf: “Two times.”
Boswell: “Two or three? Usually wait until we have a hotel with a bathtub. I am a sit and shave type of guy.”
VN: How do your legs feel, on a scale of 1-10?
Brown: “Five. Yesterday during the TT I realized I’m nine days into the Giro. There was some pain in the legs.” [Down 1.5.]
Dombrowski: “Nine.” [Down one.]
Rosskopf: “Seven.” [No change.]
Boswell: “Nine.” [Down one.]
Haga: “Four.” [Down two]
VN: Does anything hurt?
Brown: “My legs hurt. We have to take the stairs down to the meals, and it’s a real struggle. I had some stomach pains yesterday too. All good this morning, though.” [The Giro press corps recommends All-Bran.]
Dombrowski: “My throat, just a little bit.”
Rosskopf: “No pain thanks to our osteo.”
Boswell: “No sir!”
Haga: “Sore Achilles from stage 8’s understatedly ‘worn out’ roads and a bruised shoulder from a fight with a stone wall. [It was a draw.]
VN: What was the last song that was stuck in your head?
Brown: “’Sexyback’ by Justin Timberlake.”
Dombrowski: “’Peculiar Mathematics,’ a mashup of Mos Def and Marvin Gaye. We rock it in my room!”
Rosskopf: “’Work from home,’ apparently by Fifth Harmony. It comes out of Rick’s speakers a couple times a day.”
Boswell: “’The Bottomless Hole,’ The Handsome Family
Haga: “From Tom Stamsnijder’s birthday celebration last night: ‘There’s only one Stammie Snijder!’
“Context: We shared a hotel with Lotto after Greipel’s last win, and they sang a song that went something like, ‘There’s only one Andre Greipel! There’s only one Andre Greipel! There’s only one Andre Greipel! There’s only one Andre Greipel!’
“It’s frustratingly catchy.”
VN: Favorite stage so far?
Brown: “Stage 8. The gravel climb at the end sums up what the Giro means to me. Epic.”
Dombrowski: “I wouldn’t normally say this, but the TT. I was told to go as easy as possible. No radio, no fighting for position. Just me and my bike cruising through Chianti.”
Rosskopf: “Stage 8, Foligno to Arezzo.”
Boswell: “Stage 8, as a team we clicked and came together.”
Haga: “Yesterday’s TT was awesome.”
VN: Cheeseburger with bacon or ice cream sundae?
Brown: “You already know the answer to this.”
Dombrowski: “A kebab.”
Rosskopf: “Ice cream sundae… Maybe I’ll go find some gelato this afternoon.”
Boswell: “Salty cravings today, burger with bacon!” [One minute later, another text: “Though I hear we are having sushi for lunch. One of my favorite foods.”]
Haga: “Who ate the avocado?! Also, the bun had better be buttered and toasted.” [I ate the avocado.]