Tuft says Orica GreenEdge’s objective is to look after Michael Matthews, Australian squad wants more success
Relaxed and beaming with pride after taking the Maglia Rosa on yesterday’s opening stage of the Giro d’Italia, Svein Tuft has said that the team will look to continue the momentum it showed on stage win and chase more success during the race.
The Canadian rider was first across the line at the end of the 21.7 kilometre team time trial, thus taking the pink jersey on what was his 37th birthday. The success echoed the team time trial victory the squad enjoyed in last year’s Tour de France, a win which came one day after Simon Gerrans grabbed stage three.
If things work out well for the team in this Giro, it will notch up more victories in the days ahead.
“There are some difficult days coming with the wind and the exposure along the coast,” said Tuft in the post race press conference, which can be viewed above. “We have a super fast man in Michael Matthews. So really our objective is to look after him and hopefully we can continue that success streak we have been having in the last couple of weeks.”
Tuft has raced with a variety of teams in the past and notched up several wins, including time trials in the Eneco Tour plus this year’s Tour de San Luis. He’s also dedicated himself to his teams and has a humble demeanour. While he is one of Orica GreenEdge’s strongest riders against the clock, his success yesterday was, he said, attributable to the team’s decision to let him cross the line first.
“It’s really a dream come true for a guy like me. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. I’m really thankful to my team for that gift, that really special gift,” he said.
“Team time trialling is something that I really focus on and take a lot of pride in. I think it is something they gave to me for the last few years of real dedication to that event. [Orica GreenEdge] is an amazing team. Every one of those guys is a brother. I feel really lucky – I can’t imagine too many other teams have that cohesiveness and that camaraderie that we have. It is a really special team.”
Tuft came across as someone who was pinching himself at finding himself at the top of the classification of the second biggest race on the planet. Asked if it was the top moment of his career, he said that he needed to reflect on things before being able to reply to the question.
“It hasn’t really sunk in because I never expected something like this in my cycling career,” he said. “I have had some good moments but this is something I never imagined. Maybe I can answer that in a few days.”