Sam Bewley of Orica GreenEDGE has successfully navigated the first nine days of the Giro d’Italia. The worst and most severe stages may still be ahead, but we decided to take the opportunity to talk to Sam about his experiences so far as he enjoys his rest day.
RC: What’s been your best day on the bike and why?
Sam: The stages in holland were really spectacular with the crowds. There were thousands of people across the whole course which made those few days pretty special. Today [stage 9’s time trial] was probably my most enjoyable day so far though. Just taking it easy in the TT, no stress and everything dictated by me. I was lucky to have dry roads on a beautiful course and just cruised along and enjoyed it.
RC: What’s been your hardest day on the bike and why?
Sam: The really hard days haven’t started yet and I haven’t had any moments of strife yet. Yesterday I punctured at the bottom of a 9km climb, they raced up pretty hard so that was probably the hardest moment I’ve had so far.
RC: What’s been the most random thing to have happened so far on or off the bike?
Sam: The most random thing would have to be when we first arrived in Italy. I was having a drink and then we came into a roundabout and I had grabbed the breaks suddenly so I dropped my bottle, it landed on my stem and SRM and just sat there. Once I got off the breaks I just picked it up off the SRM and finished my drink.
RC: What are you looking forward to about the next twelve stages?
Sam: The whole team is excited for what’s to come. We have a couple more chances with Caleb and then some really hard days where we all need to rally around Esteban and then let him fly in the mountains. We can’t take our foot off the gas or lose concentration at any moment until the end of the Giro.
RC: Do you imagine crossing the line in Torino, simply getting through the next stage, a bit of both or something else?
Sam: I take it stage by stage. The worst thing you can do is think of the finish. It’s too far away and we have so much work to do before then. I have an important role every single day as does everyone when you have a GC rider so we just focus on that role each day and do it the best we can all the way to Torino.
RC: If you were giving advice to a Grand Tour debutant what would you say?
Sam: Save energy. These races are long. Some days even if you’re feeling good and you get to the last climb, go in the grupetto. You’re wasting energy to fight and try stay in the second or third group for nothing. Go in grupetto, take it easy as possible and save that for when you really need to fight or do a job for the team.