Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) gave 100% in the hilly Barolo time trial in the Giro d'Italia on Thursday but finished a significant 3:22 down on winner and new race leader Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and slipped one place down the overall classification to 16th, 6:55 behind the Colombian.
Hopes of a second Giro d'Italia victory for the Canadian are perhaps slipping away but he refuses to give up of a good overall performance and has no plans to throw in the towel, knowing that the third week of a Grand Tour, especially such an unpredictable Grand Tour like the Giro d'Italia, can throw up lots of surprises and dramatically change the overall standings.
While Uran took some risks to gain time on the tricky descents and climbs of the Barolo time trial course, Hesjedal admitted he opted for a more cautious time trial strategy.
"I'm happy with my ride. I felt comfortable," he told Cyclingnews before understanding the full results and his 20th place in the time trial.
"It was tricky in the wet on the slimy corners and so I had to be super cautious."
The third week
Hesjedal will look to recover from his effort during Friday's flat stage to Rivarolo Canavese before tackling the weekend mountain stages to Oropa and Plan to Montecampione.
"I'm looking to the weekend stages next. They're going to important. Then a lot can happen in the last week, I know that," he said.
"I feel good. So far I've got through all the tough days pretty well. I think I had even more difficulties a couple of years ago and I managed to go on and win the Giro. Back then I had to ride into the race and suffered in the middle part before emerging in the final week. I'm looking forward to being where I was a couple of years ago in the last week of this year's Giro."
"Every day is going to be tough. There are no easy days in the Giro d'Italia."