Spaniard Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) refuses to stop fighting for this Giro d'Italia. The 2008 Tour de France winner won two stages in Italy last year but has bigger goals this year: the overall classification.
On Tuesday evening when the Giro d'Italia arrived in Bitonto, it looked like the overall win was beyond him, but the next day, as the race raced north from Italy's heel, the situation changed drastically.
Following another epic day in the rain, Sastre found himself in eighth overall at seven minutes behind leader Richie Porte.
"I am not a person who throws in the towel because I lost time," said Sastre. "I don't have big goals in mind, because it is really difficult, but I am here to fight."
Sastre won the Tour de France with a continued fight, until the final mountain stage up L'Alpe d'Huez. Last year, he failed to win the Giro d'Italia, but he came away with wins in two of the hardest stages: Monte Petrano and Monte Vesuvio.
Crashes and bad luck hampered his Giro campaign in the first week, but he made up for that today by joining an escape of 56 men.
"It's been a hard Giro for everyone: it is going really fast and hard form the beginning. You can see the differences are as if we have already had a real mountain stage.
"I was where I needed to be in every moment, but I had bad luck with crashes and flat tyres. That is how I lost the time. It is part of the race, but the race is not finished."
Sastre proved the race is not finished today and proved his training programme worked. He started this race with only eight racing days, the least amount he has ever had before a Grand Tour.
"He has experience; he knows what he is doing. It is almost the same preparation that had last year before the Giro. When a rider is convinced about his preparation, then it will work, especially a rider like him, with lots of experience," said sports director, Alex Sans Vega.
"This is one of the hardest editions of the Giro because a lot of riders are tired due to the tough first days. The weather, the long stages, the crashes and the long transfers."
Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
2010 Giro d'Italia coverage in association with Zipvit
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