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by Shane Stokes
May 20, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Gaviria nets fourth victory on stage 13 of Giro d’Italia; Garfoot continues Orica-Scott’s success in Emakumeen Bira with stage 3 win; Weening wins stage 3 of the Tour of Norway; Evtushenko wins stage 1 of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; Pirazzi and Ruffoni sacked by Bardiani-CSF team after confirmation of B-sample positive; Battered and bruised, Thomas quits Giro d’Italia; Van Garderen: I don’t know why it is not working; Nicky Hayden in ‘extremely critical’ condition following Wednesday’s bike crash; Ullrich resigns from Rund um Köln position; Vulpine – what went wrong?; Belda positive for EPO; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 13 Pre Race; Video: Sagan and the fans at the Amgen Tour of California
Twice fifth in the Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen has had a frustrating time in the past three years. He was a non-finisher in the 2015 Tour de France and Vuelta a España, trailed in 29th in last year’s Tour and was a non-finisher in the Vuelta. His 2017 Giro d’Italia participation was supposed to be part of his resurgence and, after netting fifth in the Volta a Catalunya and sixth in the Tour de Romandie, he seemed to be on track.
However the past week in the Giro has been hugely frustrating for him. He was only 17th on the Blockhaus climb and 43rd in the Montefalco time trial, and lost further time on stage 11. He is now 32nd overall and must try to work out just what exactly happened.
“I definitely had high hopes coming into this event, and this is not how I envisioned my Giro going. I don’t really know what else to say,” Van Garderen told VeloNews. “I don’t really want to make excuses. Every time I try to make an explanation, everyone says, oh, he’s just making more excuses. It’s a lose-lose situation; if I try to give an explanation, then it’s an excuse, and if I don’t, then people don’t accept that, either.
“Right now, my body is just kind of failing. I don’t know why — I did feel a little bit of a heat stroke on the day before Blockhaus, but I was able to dump some water over my head. I ate and drank, and I felt like I dodged a bullet. Since then, I feel like I can’t really get into the red. That’s the only explanation I can come up with. I don’t know…”
Van Garderen knows that there will be criticism. Some on social media are openly questioning if he is a stage race rider, but that’s unfair: he was twice fifth in the Tour, after all, and has won two editions of the US Pro Challenge and one Amgen Tour of California. But he must work out what’s going wrong. “I don’t know why it’s not working,” he admits.
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