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Jackson Stewart: "Everyone is trying to give his best, and we should just keep improving". (Foto by Mark Adkinson)
Jackson Stewart: "Everyone is trying to give his best, and we should just keep improving". (Foto by Mark Adkinson)

Interview with Jackson Stewart

24. April 2008


Jackson Stewart has had a couple of tough days.  Having been involved in a late day crash on stage two, and then suffering multiple punctures in stage three, he was still up for a quick talk about how things have been going for him so far.

You had some bad luck today with flats; how did that all happen for you?

Jackson Stewart: The day was alright aside from a few mishaps.  It was really aggressive from the get go.  Yesterday it took about two hours for a break to get established, which is a pretty long time.  Today it was about an hour and a half into the race before it felt like something was going to work.  It has been pretty easy for the break to get away, but even easier for the pack to pull it back at will.  I kept trying and trying to get into the moves, and almost made the final move.  I had been in a move of four riders that was getting caught.  I just kept going and three other guys came up to me.   We were being reeled in when I flatted and in a split second I was out the back and chasing my way through the cars.  That was a bit of a shock.

Gavin Chilcott mentioned that it took a pretty big effort for you to catch back on.

JS: Yeah, I was just hanging in the cars forever, and really was able to rejoin the group only because there was that big crash, which slowed up the peloton.  Luckily none of our guys were caught up in it.

And then at the end of the race you were instrumental in helping Danilo.

JS: Just as we were hitting the finishing circuit, Danilo flatted.  I was right there and gave him my wheel.  Then David and John were able to help him back into position.  It’s a shame really since it stole some of Danilo’s edge, and when I got my wheel replaced, I realized the circuit would have been the type of course I could have felt pretty strong on.  It was hillier and tighter than yesterday.

What are your expectations for tomorrow’s Team Time Trial?

JS: A few of us on the team this week were also the ones who won the Giro del Fruili team time trial last year, so I know that the team can do well.  It will just depend on how strong we are on the course.  John Lelangue is excellent about placing guys in the rotation and also a big help in the car during the race.  It is important to have the right guys in order according to size but also who is punchy, who can take longer turns and basically how to keep the rotation as smooth as possible.  I am generally better at team time trials than I am at individual ones.  For me it is like being in a breakaway, but one where everyone is your team mate and that makes it even better.

John Lelangue has said that he is pleased with how the group is gelling as a team.  He used today’s mishap with Danilo’s flat as an example.  Do you get the same impression? 

JS: Definitely.  The team attitude is good and the guys really believe in each other.  And as far as Danilo is concerned, we all believe in him.  In fact, we feel as though we should be giving him more.  He has been a great addition to the team and his sprinting has salvaged many of our races, especially the ones in Europe.  I think Gavin was extremely focused on hiring racers that he believed would work in harmony.  There are no butting heads or fighting egos, and we have been getting positives results.  It is easy to gel when you believe in each other.  Everyone is trying to give his best, and we should just keep improving.