Carlos Sastre

THIRD, STAGE 11, L'AQUILA

"It was a great situation. I was there at the right moment in the breakaway. It was something that I didn't really understand, but I had my team-mates with me and I decided to go full-gas.

"I don't know why Liquigas didn't chase immediately, we need to ask them, though, we'll probably never understand their reasoning. It was strange of them to ride as they did, but for me it was great because I came back into the classification race.

"I quickly realised the escape was going to succeed. After 10 kilometres, we had 10 minutes and then the gap was 17 minutes — I thought that no one was able to catch us. I thought, 'If we ride smart, without doing anything stupid, we'll arrive with a good advantage.'

"On the long transfer afterwards, I thought about the day, and for me it was one of those special ones in cycling. I've never seen such an escape go free, not one with such a big favourite. But this escape had me, David Arroyo, who started the day four minutes back, and other important GC riders.

"For us it was great, but it was also great for the fans. They had a nice stage to watch on TV everyday in this Giro d'ltalia. They have seen crazy racing every day, like Classics races, it surpassed their expectations. And, all the while, the GC remained open. It is good for cycling, even if it wasn't the best for the riders."

Top The 56-man break goes dear, with the GC favourites all distanced Above Ivan Basso leads the stage-12 escape which contained most of the overall contenders

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