Wegelius hoping for equal weather conditions
Garmin-Sharp has yet to win a race this season but directeur sportif Charly Wegelius insisted the US-registered team is not under pressure to get a result in the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial on Wednesday.
Last year the Orica-GreenEdge team stunned their rivals by winning the 16.9km team time trial, beating Radioshack by 17 seconds. Garmin-Sharp were third, also at 17 seconds, with Team Sky fourth at 23 seconds.
The Australian squad are again favourites but Wegelius hopes Garmin-Sharp can do well, using their experience and team time trial skills to gain some precious seconds on their rivals.
Garmin-Sharp has drafted in track Rohan Dennis to boost the team's chances in the team time trial and can also count on the speed and power of Thomas Dekker, Tyler Farrar, Robert Hunter, Ramunas Navardauskas and Sébastien Rosseler. Dan Martin and Dekker are the team's hopes for a good overall result.
"I don’t think we need to get dragged into any kind of panic because we haven't won a race yet. It's still early in the season, there aren't any leaves on the trees yet, so I don't think there's anything to worry about," Wegelius told Cyclingnews before attending the directeur sportif meeting in San Vincenzo with Chann McRae.
"There's no pressure on us to win. We had quite a difficult start to the season, with lots of people getting hit by small illness and then the bikes going missing too."
Rain is forecast for throughout Wednesday's stage from San Vincenzo to Donoratico. Garmin-Sharp is due to start the team time trial at 15:24 local time, number 14 of the 22 teams in the race. Orica-GreenEdge are the second team to start at 14:48, while Radioshack are ninth off at 15:09. Astana is the 22nd and last team to start at 15:48 local time in Tuscany.
"Obviously the weather makes things a little more difficult. It's technically more demanding when the roads are slippy," Wegelius pointed out.
"I just hope that the weather is the same for everybody because if there are big differences between the first and last teams, that falsify the results."
Wegelius picked his top three, hoping Garmin-Sharp will be "in the mix."
"I think Blanco and Orica-GreenEdge are going to have powerful teams for races like this. Omega Pharma-Quick Step could be good too," he said.
"I hope we will be in the mix somewhere but there's no point in thinking about what everybody else does, we've got to do our best and that's it."