Van Emden surprised about Giro d'Italia result, atmosphere
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Van Emden surprised about Giro d'Italia result, atmosphere

by Bjorn Haake at 6:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Jos Van EmdenRabobank rider Jos van Emden finished ninth in the Giro d'Italia prologue, a surprise even to himself. He was only nine seconds off the pace and enjoyed the day in Amsterdam tremendously. He also explained why Monday is a special day for him.

Van Emden did not dream of a  top ten result. "I really didn't expect this," he said in an interview on "The last few days I didn't feel perfect, so I didn't know what to expect." Van Emden added that as an amateur racer, he could put in a great ride in a short time trial. "But last year at the Giro I realized that the pace is higher."

When he saw his time at the finish, he was happy. "This was above all my expectations," he said. The same was true for the atmosphere in Amsterdam. "To race a Grand Tour is always motivating, but starting it in your own country is still nicer." He had already listened to the accounts from Dutch riders who started the Vuelta a España in Assen, Netherlands, last year."

Seeing Queen Beatrix before the start was special. "When you encounter all the red-white-blue flags and everybody screams your name, then you just dig a little deeper," Van Emden added. Things will even get better on Monday. "I will race very proudly, as the route goes around 100 meters by my parents' house. That is really something special."

The 8.4-kilometer course of the Giro d'Italia prologue in Amsterdam was lined with people several rows deep and special bridges were built to allow spectators to cross the street along the course.

"It was a unique atmosphere," he said to "On advice of my teammates, I held back in the first three kilometers, because there was a danger to overdo it, with the spectators screaming."

It was loud alongside the course. "I could not hear my director once because of all the cheering." Van Emden was quite pleased with the outcome of the race of the only Dutch squad at the start. "We rode very well here as a team. It was quite bizarre what was going on here. I saw red-white-blue flags everywhere. You will never experience this again."



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