Although Ryder Hesjedal and the rest of the Garmin-Sharp squad lost over three minutes in the opening team time trial of the Giro d’Italia, directeur sportif Charly Wegelius has said that the race still presents many opportunities and that he is ruling nothing out.
“I think obviously losing that time alters his position in the race but the Giro history is listed with occasions of riders gaining and losing massive amounts of time,” he told CyclingTips. “Of all the three week races, this is the most unpredictable. When you are on the back foot like we are at the moment, that is in your advantage.
“I think it is good, the most important thing is that it is on the rise. I think the race is going to be decided in the last week, so I think that is extremely positive.”
Hesjedal won the race as an outsider in 2012 and while he appears out of the running, Wegelius said that he will continue looking for opportunities and see how things play out. However he feels that he won’t get the scope to go in long distance breakaways.
“I think the important thing is he takes all the opportunities that are there for him. For the rider that he is, the stages Ryder would go for would be the GC stages anyway, even if he was just going for stages. And he didn’t lose that amount of time that he is going to be allowed to go in a really early move.
“So I think fundamentally for him it doesn’t really change very much. It is just those opportunities that are there just become more important for him.”
The team lost its other leader Dan Martin in the team time trial crash last Friday in Belfast. Martin hit a slick manhole cover just over fifteen minutes into the test and fell heavily, with three others from the team also coming down.
He fractured his collarbone in three places, while Koldo Fernandez also suffered an injury to the same part of his body. Wegelius was speaking prior to the start of Sunday’s stage and said that both underwent surgery; those operations were successful and the riders are now working on their recovery.
In their absence the remaining seven riders on the team will press on and try to have the most successful race possible. Tyler Farrar is part of the squad and was tenth on stages two and three of the race.
While he was a long way off the victorious Marcel Kittel, Wegelius believes that he is going well and can be in the mix.
“If you watch [Saturday’s] stage, you can see he put himself in probably the best position he could do, considering it was a downhill run in to a sharp left hand bend. He has got fantastic condition and will try to make the most of it.”