A bit of polemica arose today on the Giro post-race show over an interview Damiano Cunego gave to Gazzetta dello Sport after Wednesday's stage finish at Alpe di Siusi. Cunego suffered a "giorno no," conceding over 2 minutes in the general classification. Not exactly the start he would have liked.
During Thursday's post-race show, the assembled journalists did not let him off easy. Gigi Sgarbozza, a former pro, complimented the 2004 Giro winner on his talent, calling him fuoriclasse, and wondering what had happened since 2004. Cunego's answer was philosophical: "you win, you lose, that's bike racing. I haven't lost my passion." Sgarbozza thinks Cunego should turn full time to the classics, including Milano-Sanremo. Cunego's answer, a simple No. He did not look at all pleased with the suggestion. Davide Cassani suggested that the problems were in Cunego's head, that perhaps he loses his confidence. Cunego said he was simply tired, and the stage didn't go well. He also said he is hoping to chase a stage win when the Giro heads into the Appenino.
Nothing too controversial there, until Bulbarelli, the commentator for RAI, read back a portion of Cunego's interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, in which the Lampre rider said that certain results "should be rewritten." Cunego looked distinctly uncomfortable at this, but also said that he did not intend to accuse anyone specific of doping.
So what did Cunego say to Gazzetta? Below the fold, my friends, below the fold.
Here is my translation of the interview in Gazzetta dello Sport.
Let's start with the Headline, just for fun:
"Cunego Disappointed: But I did what I could"
"I lost, but I already know that the classification will be rewritten after the fact."
The interview begins by asking if Cunego is disappointed to lose time.
"No. If I become disappointed every time that it does not go well... The life of a rider is like this: moments of great joy and moments more delicate. I must be strong to deal with this situation: not let myself go too much when I win, and not too much when I lose. Today, I lost. The rythm was too high for my possiblities. I could not do it, I was outside the race, I had to ride a lower tempo."
"At 6 kilometers to go, I continued with my climb: I rode at 19th or 20th, who knows how many others. And I want to thank Bruseghin, who gave me a hand. I tried to go well, I was curious to see how the others would go and how I would, maybe I paid a little, because the previous night I did not sleep well, but I am not looking for excuses: I did not have the strength to stay with those at the front. I did everything that I could, gave what I had. And I accept the results, even the negatives."
"There exists physical limits. My principle is this: To do what I can in the way that I should. With a conscience. The people who know you, understand you, appreciate you, esteem you, and respect you. There is a finishing order on the day, which this time has penalized me, and there is a finishing order in life, where everyone must protect himself. I am not the only one to do what I can the way I should. Therefore I keep doing it. And already I know there are certain classifications, that must be rewritten, to finished competitions, and this remains painful to me."
"After L'Alpe di Siusi, the situation is changed, my Giro is not compromised, but I must invent something. If I have the right occasion, I will try again."