Following his day of suffering at the Giro d'Italia and losing any chance of a second overall victory, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) will wait until Wednesday morning before deciding his plans for the rest of the race.
A decision on possibly pulling out of the Giro d'Italia or fighting on with far lesser goals will be made with the team's management and medical staff after a night of recovery and reflection. He could decide to fight on or instead retire, to quickly understand his problem and then find a solution before it is too late for the Tour de France.
The 2012 Giro d'Italia winner has been struggling since Saturday's time trial stage and cracked completely during Tuesday's first mountain stage to Altopiano del Montasio.
Hesjedal was dropped on the earlier climb of the Passo Cason di Lanza when Team Sky set an infernal pace. He was unable to handle the pace, was dropped and eventually finished 20:58 behind stage winner Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) at the mountain finish in Altopiano del Montasio.
He looked terrible when he crossed the finish line, quickly pulling on a jacket and then descended to the Garmin Sharp bus before being taken to the team hotel.
Directeur sportif Charly Wegelius, who last year led the Canadian to victory in his first-ever Giro d'Italia from the team car, shielded Hesjedal from the media spotlight, put off any decision on his future in this year's race.
"We hope he can recuperate overnight and feel better but obviously his health comes first," Wegelius told Cyclingnews.
"We'll see how he sleeps, how he recovers from the stage and how he feels in the morning. There's no definite plan for now, we'll take stock in the morning, talk to the doctor to work out what the problems are and what the next steps are."
Wegelius confirmed that Hesjedal has been suffering for several days but claimed no one on the team knew the specific cause of his poor form.
"He suffered in the time trial, perhaps of his time trial position and has just not recovered from it. The crisis the day after also affected him. We hoped he'd recover on the rest day but he didn’t. There's something not right with him," Wegelius said.
"Every season is not the same. We were hoping for a good result in the Giro but nothing like this."
Trying to find a silver lining
Wegelius tried to be optimistic about what the Garmin Sharp team can do in the rest of the Giro d'Italia, with or without Hesjedal.
The team's leader is no longer an overall contender but the likes of Thomas Dekker, Pete Stetina, Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, David Millar and Nathan Haas, could all potential target stage victories and go in breakaways.
"The Giro continues for the team and who knows, there could be a silver lining. There are lots of different opportunities," Wegelius said trying to dig up some optimism after a tough day.
"Nathan Haas is a young guy who could do something, we've got a strong group of climbers too. The Giro is definitely not over for the team. It's even not excluded that even Ryder could recover and so something on one stage."
Wednesday's 11th stage is from Tarvisio to Vajont. The 182km stage includes a major climb mid-distance and a short climb to the finish. It is followed by two flat stages across northern Italy, giving Hesjedal a chance to recover before the weekend mountain stages in the Alps.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.