Today we bring you a special feature, where Podium Cafe reports LIVE! from Pontedera, site of today's rest day and tomorrow's 50 km individual time trial. Remember, this is a Podium Cafe exclusive!
First, we caught up with race director Angelo Zomegnan, to ask whether today's rest day, curiously coinciding with the Champions' League Final in Paris, is no coincidence. Zomegnan furiously denied the charges: "Clearly the riders are very tired, and we knew that the time trial would be much better racing if it occurred after the rest day." Zomegnan then began speaking French into his cell phone and headed in the direction of the airport.
Next, we were permitted into a Team Discovery Channel strategy meeting. Johan Bruyneel speaking:
"But signor, I am Paolo."
"We're counting on you Lance."
Next we moved on to the lunch buffet, where a long line was forming. Several CSC riders moved to control the front of the line, along with maglia rosa Ivan Basso, who carefully avoided the crashes taking place further back on the tricky right-hand bend into the cafeteria. Three Euskaltel riders were seen getting medical attention.
Sitting calmly on the patio, giving interviews in the warm sunshine, was twice-winner Gilberto Simoni. "I believe I am in good position now, and I have been perfecting my position for tomorrow's time trial, so I will still be ready to strike in the mountains," he told Podium Cafe. Simoni calmly waived to fellow riders passing by, struggling briefly with a twitch in his left eye as several Lampre riders wandered through.
Meanwhile, Liquigas leader Danilo DiLuca gave Podium Cafe a peek into his future, and defended his choice to skip his favorite classics this year in favor of the Giro. "My plan has gone very well, as I expect to take the overall lead in tomorrow's time trial and solidify my standings in the mountains. Next year I will skip the spring classics again, and the Giro as well, to focus on running for president."
Finally, not to be outdone, here at Podium Cafe we have a new feature: Babe shots!