Hesjedal calls Martin's Giro d'Italia crash a nightmare

Shortly after crossing the finishing line and with their Giro d’Italia all but in tatters almost before it had begun, Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal recounted to Cyclingnews what he called "basically a nightmare", as the stage one crash that poleaxed half their team left the Garmin-Sharp co-leader Dan Martin out of the race.

"Obviously there was a crash, and there was only four of us that stayed ahead," Hesjedal, winner of the Giro in 2012, told Cyclingnews.

"It was right before a corner and you hear something had happened, we were already through the corner, looked back and there was nobody there."

"Obviously it was pretty scary because you don’t know what the hell’s going on."

With only four Garmin-Sharp riders left as a unit, four on the ground after the crash and a fifth needed to complete the course for their team time trial, Hesjedal and the rest waited until teammate Fabian Wegmann, who had been dropped early on, caught up with them. They then continued.

"I don't know what happened, it was basically a nightmare, so I'm just sitting there and then I just kept going," Hesjedal said. Although he was unaffected by the crash, but after such a disastrous opening stage for his squad, Hesjedal said "I don't know if you could call that lucky."

The squad finished 22nd and dead last, 3 minutes and 26 seconds down on winners Orica GreenEdge.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, 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. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.