Chris Sorensen

WINNER, STAGE EIGHT, MONTE TERMINILLO

"I had one of those days you rarely have where, even if your legs hurt, you have the feeling you are going to win.

"My girlfriend called me up the day before because I was a little bit down after the muddy stage to Montalcino. She told me, 'It's going to be all right.' She called me the next moming and said, Today, I think you are going to do something good.' She gave me a lot of confidence.

"1 was a little bit scared because our escape group did not start the climb with what I thought was enough time, we had only one and a half minutes. 1 looked around, I was with good riders: Tondo, Uran, Moncoutié, Petrov... I reminded myself that I had won in the Dauphine Libéré in the same circumstances and I thought, 'This is going to end up in the same way, with a win.' But I had to get away from the group because there was too much tactical play going on.

"Xavier Tondo chased hard, and maybe if he had not had such a hard day the day before he would have caught me, but who knows? I had purposely saved myself the day before, riding in the gruppetto because I wanted to do something on the stage to Terminillo.

"I got to the bus after the win, talked to the journalists and called my girlfriend back home in Denmark to say thanks. The win showed me I can be there with the big guys in a Grand Tour. Also, the stage to Zoncolan and Monte Grappa showed me that too."

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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