"I can't save anything, we don't know how this will end"

Pello Bilbao disputes his fourth Giro with the ambition to reach the podium, but the evolution of the virus puts the race at risk and the cyclists hesitate.


Third in the Giro, 49 seconds behind Joao Almeida, before the second time clock and Piancavallo. How are you?

Very good, I know that I came from the Tour and that I have to face the race day by day. I keep in mind that my body can say enough at any time, but for now I don't feel anything close to that explosion. I enjoy to the maximum my good form and a privileged position, which may be an immense joy if the decisive weekend is saved.

Talk like the Giro isn't going to make it through the second rest day.

Yes, there is a rarefied atmosphere within the squad, as when the outbreak of the pandemic occurred during Paris-Nice. We don't know how this will end. We are not in a situation of planning too much either because of the coronavirus or because of the weather that threatens the ports of the last week. It is not even something that remains in the hands of the organizers, but in those of the Italian Government and in the chance that we respect time. That's why I have to do the rest both in the time trial and in the finish line, without saving anything, especially in the chrono, which causes more differences than the mountain in current cycling.

You participated in the Tour de France, where there were no positives among the riders. What has happened or has been done differently in Italy so that the bubble is in serious danger?

Above all, that the pandemic is progressing more uncontrolled in the country itself. We are in the second wave and, although we remain isolated from the outside, if the cases in Italy increase, it seems logical that there is a proportion in the Giro, since anyone can have contact with someone infected without realizing it, and unfortunately we have verified what quickly contagious.

In this competition he also debuts the role of leader of Bahrain.

Yes, it is a role that I had not had to play until now. But I feel very comfortable and supported by colleagues. If they believe in you, they offer reason enough to leave you with every last drop of sweat in pursuit of your goals. In our case, the drawer. I don't get excessive pressure, but unconditional support. And so far the subject is going well, I am delighted with this experience. I move through challenges, with the ambition not to pigeonhole myself. Motivating challenges are why you want to be a professional cyclist.

Where do you check more than one captains a team?

In the final 30 or 40 kilometers. When you are gregarious, you face that last stretch with the right forces, a bit fused and worried about protecting the boss. Now, I have some extra energy, saved thanks to the dedication of my colleagues. Neither have I changed my character nor does it consist in ordering things here and there, simply in doing your work in a natural way.

Sixth in the 2018 Giro, two victories in 2019 and virtual third in 2020. It continues with remarkable growth.

I consider that since I became professionals I have always evolved or improved some aspects over the course of each season. At the beginning it cost me more, and it was not until 2014 that I made my debut in the Vuelta. I think the three weeks are a perfect fit for me due to my regularity and consistency. Without being the best at anything, I get good results because I hardly fail or make mistakes less than the rest.

What about your future plans?

COVID-19 does not allow many joys. As soon as the Giro ends, I'm going to have a month of complete disconnection. I have a lot of accumulated whip, but accepted with pleasure. Although he knew about the demands of attending this race, he was not going to turn down the opportunity believing that he would end up very tired. If when they confined us none of them thought that we were going to compete more! I do not regret stretching the form. I hope that by 2021 the virus will be more controlled, that penalties will be left behind little by little, that life returns to the maximum possible normality for everyone and that we will play a broad and hopeful calendar for sport.

Photos from as.com
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