There were times when I really thought we were on the plane home. I mean, I will never give up, if I’m out of time, I’m out of time. But it was tough. I told Cav twice just to keep thinking about [his daughter] Delilah. Yesterday he was on his hands and knees, and then he crashed as well, he was tired.
And I was like ‘that’s it, we’re not going to make it’. There were these long, long roads into a headwind and I was just giving it everything and I was like ‘just keep going.’ Then Jez [Jeremy Hunt] came back [from the bunch] and I was thinking ‘if he’s come back, that’s three of us going to go home.’
But Cav was recovering really well, he was on the wheel for 20k and then he started dropping me because I was empty. And I just killed myself trying to get through on the last part. It was one of those Giro stages you just hate. All those small ramps [climbs], they were real bastards. As soon as you lost contact with the bunch, it became a day that was never-ending. For the last 20k I couldn’t see any more. I don’t know what I had, a heat-stroke. Then I had an asthma attack afterwards and I was lying [horizontal] on the bus for 30 minutes.