The Giro d’Italia is in full-swing, and we have been covering every angle of the Italian race here on velonews.com. As an added bonus, there are five of the eight American riders still in the Giro d’Italia, and they have been lending us their expert perspective to help shed light on the event and all of its glorious trappings.
We have questions about the Giro, and our pro riders have the answers. So, every day throughout the Giro we will roll out a new Pro Roundtable, with expert perspective from two pro riders and one VeloNews editor. Today, the questions focus on how the riders made it through the grueling second week.
How are you legs holding up after two weeks?
Joey Rosskopf: The legs are holding up pretty well, especially the last five or six days. I’ve experienced this in the past, and I’ve always come to the same conclusion, nothing gets too much worse after the first block of racing, after those first nine days or so. You’re at the first rest day, sometimes wondering how you can continue for two more weeks. I always feel like it plateaus, and then you end up digging a bit of a hole in the last couple of stages, but so far, so good.
Chad Haga: I’m holding up surprisingly well. Normally, I am desperate for the second rest day, but this time I am not, so I’m very hopeful for the final week. It could be a good one.
Andrew Hood: The second week of any grand tour is about finding the groove. It’s often in the second week when the GC is settled down a bit, and the breakaways start to stick. Rosskopf got into another break, in stage 12, and hit fourth for the second time of this Giro. Haga, meanwhile, is working for team leader Wilco Kelderman, who is now poised to win the Giro if he has a strong third week. It all depends on what the team’s orders are. Rosskopf will have a green light to keep attacking, while Haga will be putting everything into helping his captain.
What were your best and worst days of the second week?
Joey Rosskopf: My best and worst days came on the same day, on stage 12. I was super happy to get in the break again, and be aggressive, and to be at the action-packed end of the race. Any effort you do at the front, it’s always rewarding to me, if the break stays away or not. It was another big stage for the break, and we raced it to the finish, but at the same time, it was a very demanding course. It was non-stop up and down, rain, wet, cold. Halfway through, I was ready to be at the finish line, so I went through a lot of suffering. I was happy to be part of the action, but it was also one of the days that I went through the most suffering for the effort I put into stage 12.
Chad Haga: Oh, that would be stage around Cesenatico on stage 12. That was just a miserable day. That was the worst day so far. It was already a hard day on the bike, and then you pile on the cold and the rain on top of that! Let’s just say that anytime I cannot feel my hands I am not happy, and that was one of those days.
Andrew Hood: Enduring a bad day is all part of racing a grand tour. Riders know if they can just finish each stage and make the time cut, the legs will eventually come around to either help a teammate, win a stage, or take pulls for a GC captain. The second week is when the fatigue of racing day-in and day-out starts to set in as well. What makes grand tours unique is that most top pros these days can get through a week to 10 days of racing at a very high level. It’s once the kilometers start racking up and getting close to 3000km is when the race can really start to blow up.