photo Fabio Ferrari
Set back continues for Ryder Hesjedal.
Yesterday's ITT to Saltara was a worrisome blip on the Giro radar for our defending champion. He dropped from third to sixth overall. Today's hilly stage 9 on the final climb up the Fiesole, he looked strained and lost 66 seconds to race leader Vincenzo Nibali. Unfortunately, he plunges to 11th by 3:11.
Hesjedal shared his post-stage thoughts with Neal Rogers of Velonews and attributed his problems to...
"The day after a TT, your glutes and piriformis are just destroyed. It just kind of shuts down the lower part of your body. It's not the end of the world, I just had a bad moment. If it had happened on a 10km climb to the finish, my Giro would be over."
Jonathan Vaughters on Twitter...
"Well, on to plan B in the Giro, Rest on the rest day, then figure out how to liven up the race for the second half."
Hesjedal said, "I'm still less than two minutes off the podium. This is the Giro. It's been nine brutal days. I'm here to race and give it my best. I hope we're not forgetting who won the race last year. By no means is it an easy feat to pull that off again, but I'm here. I'm trying. I will try to rebound from today, and rely on the fact that I know I have my best performances in the latter part of a three-week race. There are still two weeks to race. There is plenty of opportunity to climb back."
A rest day is welcome to help heal a tired body. Early days still plus the weight of the nation is... behind him!