Rider reactions: Half-way through the Giro Rosa by the Scratty Twins & Audrey Cordon

Every day we're catching up with ORICA-AIS riders Amanda Spratt and the Giro's current Queen of the Mountains Valentina Scandolara to ask them how the Giro Rosa is going - and after Stage 4 we also had some Q&A from first time Giro rider, Audrey Cordon of Hitec.

Amanda Spratt

PdC: So how was today - what happened, did it go well for you?

Spratty: Today we moved away from Naples and were racing up the Adriatic Coast for the majority of the stage before heading inland for the sprint. We were interested in the possibility of a breakaway but the wind direction meant we had headwind for most of the day - not an ideal scenario for getting up the road! So in the end the first 90kms ended up being pretty easy and relaxed.... The most excitement I had was puncturing and then cruising back through the convoy and having a chat at our team car. The last 20kms were a different story and I definitely lost a few lives in those last 10kms!

Vale wanted to go for the GPM so we set her up nicely for that and then we raced immediately down a 5km descent and then into the finish which was fairly technical with many corners a then an uphill finish. Loes and I managed to find Emma and Mel and together we tried to do a leadout but it was like being in a washing machine that was out of order today.... Hectic and crazy with girls going everywhere.... In the end Mel yelled out for Emma to go for it as it suited her more.... She was perfectly positioned but someone ran into her back wheel and so her gears stopped working and she had to sprint in the little chain ring. It was still a great effort for her in 4th and we are confident we can get a podium soon.

PdC: It's the halfway point of the race - do you start counting down the days, or are you looking ahead to the big climbing days?

Spratty: Actually I just realised that today an tomorrow are the hump days.... Then you start feeling like you're getting closer to the end. At the moment I'm not really counting down the days, but looking ahead at each stage. I'm taking things day by day and trying to make the most out of every stage.

PdC: What has characterised this edition of the Giro so far?

Spratty: Rabo/Liv domination!!?? Haha. Pasta, chicken, fruit on repeat. And just always unpredictable racing and roads.

PdC: And what are you hoping for, over the next few days?

Spratty: Tomorrow looks like another flat day so this could be another chance for either opportunists or a bunch sprint.... Again we race up the coast so if it is another headwind then it could be another easier day. After that I'm hoping to book myself in for a quick leg transplant and get some super climbing legs for the rest of the tour. I guess my vertically challenged legs may make it harder to find but I'm hopeful.

PdC: What is the best thing you've packed for this race?

Spratty: Vegemite

PdC: And what do you wish you'd brought?

Spratty: More vegemite.... The tube is starting to empty at a rapid rate and this makes me pretty sad.

Will Spratty get her leg transplant?  Follow her on twitter - and ask any questions for her in the comments!

***

Valentina Scandolara

PdC: So how was today - what happened, did it go well for you?

Vale: Today it was ok for me, I managed to recover a bit of energy riding in the bunch, took the points for my jersey (I was second cause Iliniuk was up the road), then tried to be present in the lead out for the sprint but I had a problem in a roundabout and lost heaps of positions there... then a crashed ended all my hopes to come back and useful for the Team.

PdC: It's the halfway point of the race - do you start counting down the days, or are you looking ahead to the big climbing days?

Vale: I try to live it day by day... you can have a bad day in a flat nervous stage, and that could be more painful that a climb...... I just try to give my best everyday, I don't look one or two stages ahead.

PdC: What has characterised this edition of the Giro so far?  Vale:  Heaps of people, a bit of bad roads, warm weather, hard stages from the very beginning, and a superstrong Rabo!

PdC: And what are you hoping for, over the next few days? Vale: I hope to manage to keep the QoM jersey as long as possible, and maybe to have a go again in some attacks. And of course I am ready every day to do what my Team needs me to do!!!

PdC: What is the best thing you've packed for this race? And what do you wish you'd brought?

Vale: I must say my university books, 'cause I will have two exams the week after Giro!!!... I wish I'd also brought tons of good will to study them though, 'cause with the physical fatigue and the heaps of things we are doing everyday before and after the stage, that won't be an easy thing to do!!!

Follow Vale through her Giro on her twitter - and ask questions for her too in the comments.  And read the ORICA race report on their website.

***

Audrey Cordon

Hitec rider Audrey Cordon is halfway through her first Giro, and sitting 10th in GC.  She answered some questions, just for us.

PdC: You're halfway through your first Giro - how does it feel?

Audrey: I feel relaxed, I'm taking the race day after day, I know the hardest is still to come!

PdC: Is it different to what you were expecting? What's been the biggest surprise?

Audrey: It's quite similar to races like Route de France I've done before in terms of organisation. But the big difference is the massive public support we have on the side of the road! CRAZY!

PdC: Have there been any things you've been surprised by that your team mates think is normal, or forgot to warn you about?

Audrey: No all is as I expected.

PdC: You were attacking hard on Stage 1, and in top 10 on GC - how does that feel?

Audrey: I was really racing the first stage like it was a one-day race. I knew we could make a big difference on this hard lap and it's what happened. After that, yes I'm happy to be top ten, but it's not my goal - the only thing I want is Elisa in pink.

PdC: What are your plans for the second half of the race?

Audrey: The last stages are really hard, so I will try to stay with my teamies as much as possible to help them.

Follow Audrey on her twitter - and her Hitec Products boss Karl Lima is live-tweeting the stages, so follow him too!

***

Remember, my guide to following the race live, and watching the TV stream is on my blog - and for all the Podium Café Giro Rosa updates, check out the story stream.

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