Danielson battling injury after Giro d'Italia crash

American supporting Hesjedal in the GC

Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin) was one of the many riders who were affected by the stage two crash at the Giro d'Italia, but the 37-year-old says he is determined to battle on.

The American lost nearly five minutes in the pile-up, coming down hard on the tarmac. Fortunately no bones were broken but his ribs and hip suffered in the impact, and he will spend the next few days getting through the race and assessing the damage.

"I crashed hard," Danielson told Cyclingnews at the start of stage three. "I was in the big group, I was on the right hand side of the road at the very front of the peloton and the crash was on the left and then it kind of spiralled through.

"I’d slowed enough to make it through the spot where the crash was but some guy just nailed me from behind and I flipped over, hit the ground pretty hard.

"I’m just beat up, it’s just disappointing that I’m that far behind already in the race."

Danielson argued that with the crash being caused when a fan rode into the peloton, the organisers have a special responsibility to try and make an increasingly popular sport safer both for riders and the public.

"It’s already a hard sport. There’s already a lot of fighting for position, the cobbles, the changes in the road,” he said. “I hope in the future we can prevent this stuff… you’re risking the health of the fans not just the racers."

The Cannondale-Garmin rider says he will spend the next few days getting through and getting over his injuries as best he can. Priority number one is to work for Ryder Hesjedal, but the opportunities he may have could come later in the race in the second and third weeks’ mountain stages.

"The team wants me to be aggressive in the race and look for opportunities and I will do that, [but] I have to assess my situation right now and see how well everything is after the crash.

"These first days aren’t necessarily the best opportunities, because I think everybody has the same idea, the best way to survive is to be aggressive, you saw the same in the [early mountainous stages] in Corsica, the pace will be so high in the peloton… it may be difficult to ride away."

That said, Danielson will be looking to ride for Hesjedal as the 2012 Giro d’Italia winner fights for a strong GC performance once again.

"Ryder’s won the race before and he’s said he’s feeling good and he wants to finish high up on GC, and he’s going to hold the flag for us. It’s all on Ryder’s shoulders, and we’ll support him."

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