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Fredrik Kessiakoff at the finish of the 2009 Giro d'Italia's fifth stage in Alpe di Siusi.
Fatigue leads Swede to miss his third Grand Tour
Garmin-Transitions rider Fredrik Kessiakoff will miss one of his main season goals, the Giro d’Italia, after experiencing fatigue during his first season with the squad.
“I still have not heard from the team, so at this point I’m pretty sure I’m not going to the Giro,” he told Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning. “After my disappointing spring campaign, I have left it 100 percent with the team to decide wheather I should go or not. I totally respect their decision, whatever it may be.”
He later spoke with the team management and decided to change course for 2010. “I have had a really hard time finding my form during the spring. The season is long and my focus will now be to come back for the later part of the season,” he confirmed via his website.
Kessiakoff is a former mountain biker who placed third in the 2006 world MTB championships and twice represented Sweden at the Olympics. He refocused his career towards road racing in 2009, competing with the Fuji-Servetto team, and made an immediate impression.
Fourth overall in the Tour de Langkawi was a strong start and this was followed by ninth in the Tour de Romandie and tenth on a stage of the Giro d’Italia. Kessiakoff then completed his second Grand Tour of the year in September when he finished the Vuelta a España.
Moving to Garmin-Transitions was the next step in his evolution, but things haven’t gone to plan thus far. The 29-year-old crashed in the Volta ao Algarve, being forced to pull out, and then broke a rib when he fell again in training. Fatigue issues then led to his withdrawal from the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
“I am struggling this year,” he admitted recently. “I am convinced that it is mainly due to a heavy racing schedule last year, which has set me back. My body just really doesn’t want to rev as much as I would like it to.
“I can train well, but as soon as I race I feel that I don’t recover as well as I would like to. I suffer a lot more than I should, having to put in a big effort to follow the bunch.”
He has been training at a lower intensity to try to get over the problem.
Building on his 50th overall in the Italian Grand Tour last year was one of his big targets this season but that’s now changed. “To start off with, the Giro was a really big goal for this year,” he said.
“Then once I started getting these problems, I lowered my goals all the time until it got to the point where I said I was just going to ride it to help the other guys.”
Now, unfortunately, he’ll miss the race altogether. The priority now is to make sure he recovers fully, giving him a chance to aim instead for a ride in the Vuelta.