The first part of the Giro played out yesterday with the first "uphill" arrival. OK, it wasn't a really serious climb, but it was enough to diminish my dreams of pink.
Truth be told, in yesterday's stage in Bari I was already running out of possibilities. In all honesty, before the stage I was nurturing some pink dreams. I would have liked to have tried to win the stage in an arrival I particularly liked.
The rain and the neutralizing of the bonuses changed the cards on the table and so in the final I realized that I wouldn't even be able to give it a shot.
However I'm very happy with how things have been going up to now. The team has been performing very well and I feel comfortable in my role as road captain.
I like staying next to Uran on the flats and sharing my experience with the younger guys. This is my job here and it makes me very happy.
Riding in this squad and supporting my team mates gives me a lot of motivation, even because I feel like the guys listen to me eagerly and try to learn some of the tricks of the trade from me.
Physically I feel fine, even because I came to this Giro in good shape. If I'm weary of riding? I'd have to say no, not at all; on the contrary, I've never had so much fun. I am weary of being away from my family but this is all part of the game and Anna Chiara knows how much my profession means to me. She's the first person to understand that now more than ever this sport is giving me incredible thrills.
Getting back to our team, the most important thing though is that Rigoberto is in good shape. These days I've seen him pedalling well both on the flats as well as in climbs. He's a very fast kid and he knows how to make the right decisions. He understands right away when the moment is right and he reacts accordingly.
As always the mountains will decide this Giro. For my part I will try to do my best and to always be there for Rigo and the team.
As for me personally, if there is the chance I will try to go for a sprint, but the conditions have to be right. Considering my role here I can't allow myself to risk a fall and leave the team hanging.
This Giro is bringing to light some good sprinters. After Kittel dropped out Bouhanni seems to be the fastest, but there is a good platoon of young riders like Viviani and Nizzolo who could go for their first success in the pink race. It would be nice for once to enjoy the thrill of a sprint at the Giro...We'll see as we go along....Have a great Giro everyone!
For more BrakeThrough Media photos of Alessandro Petacchi, visit their gallery here: http://www.omegapharma-quickstep.com/en/gallery/show/petacchi-during-giro-d-italia-brakethrough-media/823