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The fatigue of the Giro d’Italia is unavoidable now, 15 stages and more than 2,000 kilometers past the start in the Netherlands. But there’s something about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that makes things just slightly easier.
The Americans had a good second week. As the race began to head into their favored territory, Joe Dombrowski and Nathan Brown (both Cannondale) found their way into breakaways. Brown finished fourth on his day, stage 10. Dombrowski was caught by the peloton but went on to finish an impressive eighth in the uphill time trial that followed.
Sky’s Ian Boswell has been set free following the abandonment of his team leader, Mikel Landa, and finished 15th in the uphill TT. He will join BMC’s Joey Rosskopf and Giant – Alpecin’s Chad Haga in sniffing for breaks in the final week. Haga found one on stage 18 last year and likes the look of the final handful of stages.
VeloNews caught up with the five near the end of their Monday rest day, the final one of this Giro. With six stages remaining, spirits still seem high, and tacos are on the mind.
To see how the racers have progressed through this Giro, check out the earlier installments of “Unserious Questions.”
VeloNews: What was your first thought when you got up this morning?
Ian Boswell (Sky): “Six stages … where has the Giro gone?”
Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale): “I’m starving. Breakfast isn’t until 8:30. Is there anything in the minibar?”
Nate Brown (Cannondale): “Why is Joe standing over me? Oh, he is trying to get into the mini fridge.”
Joey Rosskopf (BMC): “There’s a tickle in my throat. I think I’ve been breathing too hard lately.”
Chag Haga (Giant – Alpecin): “Unnngh, where am I?”
VN: If you could go for a ride with any pre-1990 cyclist, who would it be?
Boswell: “That Russian dude from American Flyers.” [We recommend Simon Geschke for a beardly approximation.]
Dombrowski: “Andy Hampsten. You don’t hear much about him.”
Brown: “David Brown.” [Nate’s father, a pro in the 1980s.]
Rosskopf: “Thomas Craven.” [Craven rode for 7-11, Wheaties – Schwinn, and other top teams. He won the prologue of the Tour de Trump in 1989. He is now head sport director at the Holowesko – Citadel development team.]
Haga: “Greg LeMond.”
VN: Describe your mood today in one word.
VN: How do your legs feel, on a scale of 1-10?
Boswell: “Nine.” [No change.]
Dombrowski: “Eight.” [Down one.]
Brown: “Seven and a half. I’m coming back alive.” [Up two and a half.]
Rosskopf: “Four.” [Down three.]
Haga: “Six.” [Up two.]
VN: Does anything hurt?
Boswell: “Still pain free!”
Dombrowski: “It’s the rest day. I feel like a million bucks.”
Brown: “Nope, I feel great.”
Rosskopf: “I have a nice case of DOMS taking hold of my legs.” [Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Is it a delay when you’re actively piling more soreness on top?]
VN: What was the last song that was stuck in your head?
Boswell: “’Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold,’ Towns Van Zandt. Great story tune.”
Dombrowski: “’I Won’t Back Down,’ Tom Petty.”
Brown: “Sia, ‘Cheap Thrills’.”
Rosskopf: “’Kiss an Angel Good Morning,’ by Charley Pride.”
Haga: “Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’”
VN: How long was your rest day ride?
Boswell: “45 minutes on the trainer, that includes two pee stops and one Instagram video scene.”
Dombrowski: “Supposed to be three hours, but it ended at two hours with a flat tire. Sometimes it’s a sign.”
Brown: “Two hours.”
Rosskopf: “One hour, 45 minutes.”
Haga: “One hour. Climb for 50 minutes, back at the hotel in 10 (so you know how slow we were climbing.”
VN: Which would you chose right now: a cheeseburger with bacon, an ice cream sundae, OR [new option] a plate of tacos?
Boswell: “Tacos (emphasis on the ‘s’)! But soft shell, none of that tortilla chip stuff.”
Dombrowski: “Tiramisu — the Italian pick-me-up. Quite literally.” [As a distant dessert cousin to the sundae, we let this answer pass.]
Brown: “You had to bring tacos to the table. Hmmm. This is tough now. I’m going with tacos. You can’t beat good tacos.”
Rosskopf: “Mexican food! Now there’s an option I can get behind.”
Haga: “I’m going to make this cheeseburger as soon as the Giro ends, after thinking about it for three weeks. And I wouldn’t turn down a plate of tacos either. Then I’ll have the sundae for dessert.”