“We had no prior idea that anything was so wrong with JJ that he should be forced to give up,” team sports director Dan Frost told politiken.dk.
“On the contrary, we had counted on getting the maximum out of him tomorrow (Wednesday), when the riders go out on the only stage in this race that can be said to be suitable for sprinters.”
Haedo had shown problems on the first stage, being dropped on the first long climb: “He came up again on the descent, but had to let go when it again began to go up, and that was how it ended. He was simply drained of strength,” said Frost.
Frost added that the stage was not particularly sprinter-friendly. "It must also be said that it developed into a hard-edge stage. It was run hard from the start, and it was hilly terrain all day, so it was certainly not the ideal time to have a crisis.”
Haedo has one win this season, the GP de Denain Porte du Hainaut in April. It is one of only three wins for the team this year, with the other two going to sprinter Jonathan Cantwell.
The team will now see if Cantwell “has a chance tomorrow (Wednesday). We will then at least ride for him, if the field is together at the finish,” Frost said.