After a third tough stage in the past week for Tejay van Garderen, his BMC Racing Team will have to re-assess the American's options for the Giro d'Italia now that they no longer include a bid for the overall podium in Milan.
Van Garderen lost nearly four minutes on the Blockhaus stage to winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and 4:16 on the time trial stage to Giro d'Italia leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). But even on Wednesday morning, sports director Max Sciandri felt that there was still a remote chance that the BMC Racing Team leader might be able to regain momentum in the GC battle, possibly by getting into breakaways. The American had not shown any signs of illness and had done the usual reconnaissance of the time trial stage, so Sciandri was still optimistic.
After stage 11, though, that option had disappeared completely given that van Garderen lost over 20 minutes after he was dropped early on. Sports director Max Sciandri said on Wednesday evening they would now discuss with van Garderen what the best plans were from this point for him.
"For Tejay it wasn't the day," Sciandri said afterwards to Eurosport, "so obviously he's now completely out of contention. We need to reassess it a bit.
"This morning I still had some real hopes that we could try to get in the GC in a different way, in a breakaway like Ben [Hermans] did today, and just try to gain a little bit of time on the top GC riders.
"But no, Tejay went through a bit of a bad day. We need to go through things this evening and see where we're at."
Sciandri added to Eurosport that over the past four or five years van Garderen has "had a series of bad Grand Tour entries and exits, with stopping and pulling out of races, we really came to this Giro looking to stay under the radar. Sometimes he's had a bit of a hard time bouncing back from a hard day."
The BMC Racing Team director said the team would give the rider the maximum support possible in his bid to get through what was evidently a difficult time.
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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