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APELDOORN, Netherlands (VN) — What does the Giro d’Italia do to a man and to his mind? Ask him directly and he finds it difficult to articulate.
The answer lies in his approach to everyday tasks and duties, in his assessment of his own body, and in the things that seem important to him at a particular moment. So, VeloNews is going to ask the five Americans in the race — Chad Haga, Ian Boswell, Larry Warbasse, Joey Rosskopf, Nathan Brown, and Joe Dombrowski — the same six rather innocuous (and a bit silly) questions four times throughout the Giro.
We caught up with them for the first time on Friday. Those answers are below. We’ll ask again on each rest day, and after the race reaches Torino in three weeks’ time. If any rider drops out, we’ll try to ask him on that day too (understanding, of course, that he may not want to talk about it). We’ll see how the answers change.
VeloNews: Describe your mood today in one word.
Chad Haga (Giant – Alpecin): “Optimistic.”
Ian Boswell (Sky): “Enthusiastic.”
Larry Warbasse (IAM): “Apathetic.”
Joey Rosskopf (BMC): “Anxious. Been building up to this Giro start for a while now, nice to get it under way.”
Nathan Brown (Cannondale): “Ready.”
Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale): “Relaxed.”
VN: What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
Haga: “Oh hey look, I made it past six o’clock! The sun comes up early here.”
Boswell: “I kinda forgot that it was the Giro. I did a couple laps after we got here then put my headphones on, took a nap, woke up and had no idea where I was. I was like oh, I start in an hour!”
Warbasse: “I would have to say … probably could have been better. I thought of a little bit of fatigue waking up.”
Rosskopf: “Good, I did a better job positioning the curtain. The sun isn’t in my eyes.”
Brown: “Only 7:30 and Joe is already up?” [Brown is rooming with Dombrowski – ed.]
Dombrowski: “Where is the coffee.”
VN: What was the last song that got stuck in your head? When was it?
Haga: “‘Psalm 46,’ by Shane&Shane … which is probably not what other guys have answered.”
Boswell: “I was listening to … I kept singing a song this morning. I’m trying to think what it was. Something Tracy Lawrence. Rice cookin’ in the microwave, three-day beard, ain’t gonna shave.”
Warbasse: “I had to look it up this morning because I didn’t know the name of it. It’s ‘Work From Home’ by … whatever. I don’t even know whom it’s by. But I really like that song right now. I had it on repeat.”
Rosskopf: “‘In Spite of Ourselves’ by John Prine and Iris DeMent was in my head while getting dressed and warming up for the TT. It was the last song that came on before I put my phone away.”
Brown: “’The Next Episode’ by Dr. Dre and Snoop.”
Dombrowski: “Yesterday. Jamming to Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ with my roommate Nate Brown”
VN: How do your legs feel, on a scale of one to 10. Ten is good.
Haga: “I’m going with an eight.”
Boswell: “I’ll say nine. They’re good.”
Rosskopf: “Eight out of 10.”
Warbasse: “My 10, or 10 out of everyone? Probably about five. I’m not coming in here feeling too hot.”
Brown: “My legs are an eight. I am fully rested from Romandie and ready to tackle the Giro.”
Dombrowski: “Eleven. Based only on how they feel walking around looking for coffee.”
VN: Does anything hurt?
Boswell: “No pains. That’s good. That’s a good place to start off our three weeks.”
Warbasse: “Nope. Just the ego slightly.”
Brown: “I feel like a million bucks. Nothing hurts at the moment. Ask me in two weeks.” [We will. – ed.]
Dombrowski: “Nope. All good.”
VN: If you had to choose between a bacon cheeseburger and a hot fudge ice cream sundae in this moment, which would you choose?
Haga: “I’m going with the cheeseburger.”
Boswell: “Ice cream hot fudge sundae, always. Always ice cream.”
Warbasse: “For sure, hot fudge sundae. I’m the biggest connoisseur of hot fudge Sundays. [Follow up: What does a connoisseur of hot fudge sundaes require of his sundae?] “Extra hot fudge. Good ice cream. Have you ever had Sanders hot fudge? That is the best. They do a cream puff hot fudge sundae. It’s old school. Best hot fudge you’ll ever eat. Vanilla ice cream. Classic.”
Rosskopf: “I’ll pretty much always pick the ice cream.”
Brown: “Cheeseburger everyday. That is one thing I miss about the USA. Burgers!”
Dombrowski: “A big, American, bacon cheeseburger … with avocado and a fried egg. Maybe some sweet potato fries on the side.”