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Behind the Giro: Craig Lewis third, easy day for Butler

Stage 2 of the Giro d’ Italia for Greenville residents Craig Lewis and Chris Butler was a long one – 244 kilometers long to be exact. Both riders check in exclusively with Carolina Cycling News and we get the low-down on what was a controversial stage finish.

Lewis’ HTC-Highroad team had the maglia rosa which meant a hard day in the “office” and the action went to an “11” in the final kilometers.

CCN: What’s your role in those final kilometers?
Craig Lewis: I didn’t really have a role, but I rode my ass off trying to make it to the front and help position them. In the end, I never made it up there, but I gave it a go. Those technical, flat and tailwind finishes are difficult for me to judge.

CCN: That finishing sprint looked crazy.
Lewis: Italians will be Italians. I hate to say it, but they are always out there to flick everyone else. Lampre did nothing all day and then Petacchi pulled that move on Cav. Typical…

Have you seen Mark Cavendish yet?
Lewis: Haven’t see Cav yet, but we are all disappointed. We always want the win and are never satisfied with second. Especially when the team works so hard.

CCN: You’re sitting in third place on the General Classification. Do you get any recognition?
Lewis: For third on GC I get an email from you asking about the race, that’s about it! Of course my family is ecstatic. Unfortunately, I am not one of the big names in American cycling, so I’ll stay under the radar.

For BMC rider Chris Butler stage 2 is the longest of the Giro and he’s handling it like a veteran. The BMC rider sent this report from the team bus.

“Stage 2 right off the bat is the longest road stage, but may be the flattest stage on tap for the Giro 2011. I find that the starts of most ProTour races are either gnarly hard for 50k for the break to go or really really easy (like the pace of a winter charity/fun ride).

Today was super easy. The first attack was from one guy who was allowed to roll off the front without a hiccup of a reaction. The peloton didn’t do over 200 watts. From then it was just surviving the heat, getting plenty of bottles for our team leader for the sprint and catching up with friends in the peloton, as HTC did the work for a routine sprint. It was an easy day in the pack, but I’m sure the last three hours we covered more than 150k.”

You can follow Craig Lewis on Twitter, his blog, and reports on NBCSports.com
You can follow Chris Butler on Twitter

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