BMC Racing rider Brent Bookwalter’s concern about his knee injury - caused by a crash during team time trial practice at the Giro d’Italia - has continued after stage two's rain soaked 219 kilometer trek through Northern Ireland.
“It was a little bit of a struggle to be honest,” Bookwalter said after the stage, “really, really bad at the start, even putting light pressure on the pedals, so it’s a little demoralizing having so much pain this early in the race and even in the neutral [section].”
“There so much of the race ahead, so I’ll try to hang in there and hope that it will get better. It got a little better during the stage, but it was always [playing] on my mind.”
Bookwalter finished in the main pack, in 160th spot and he is hoping the early rest day will “allow my body to get on top of this and I can come back good.”
Like many other riders in the peloton, Bookwalter described the first road stage of the race as “difficult, pretty nervous, with the rain and the wind, and [with] some of these unpredictable Irish roads, it all kept us on our toes.”
“It was quite a long stage in the wet” added BMC Racing leader Cadel Evans, “but thanks to the hard work of the team I stayed safe.”
After his squad's impressive team time trial performance on Friday, Evans had no problems holding onto his top placing overall in the following stage. He is currently 14th at 10 seconds behind race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE).
“It’s not often that we have a Grand Tour finish in such a big city as Belfast, which has more traffic islands, roadworks, [and so on] so for that reason it was maybe a little more dangerous and intimidating.”
“But in fact, the day’s racing was not so hard and everybody reached the finish a little fresher and ready to do their sprint, so it was a little bit hectic in the last part.”