July 10, 2004
Simoni: Did Martinelli wield cattle prod?
Gilberto Simoni of Saeco apparently tried to abandon the Tour today, and race radio announced he was out, but his team director managed to keep him going, and he resumed chase, and rejoined the peloton 30 minutes later.
After the stage, he told AFP:
"I'm hoping to continue but I'm really looking forward to Monday's rest day.
"Hopefully after that it will be a new start for me, and an altogether different race.
"I can't give up. I've done a lot of work this year, and put in a lot of hours preparing for the Tour."
Something about the Tour doesn't agree with Gilberto. Last year, he came into the Tour all bluster, saying he would teach Lance Armstrong a little something about climbing mountains. Unfortunately, he spent most of the Tour feeling like death, before redeeming himself with a stage victory on Stage 14.
Simoni last updated his diary over at Bicycling.com after Stage 5:
I don't see this as "my Tour." It's more than the fact that I'm not leading it, honestly I didn't expect to be at this point, but everything seems to be going wrong. Too much stress; everyday I feel uncomfortable.
I have a real rumble in my head. A small part of me says leave the race go back home, but the other part of me wants to push and do everything I can for my chances to win this race.
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