The Giro d'Italia couldn't have started out better for Orica-GreenEdge: winning the opening team time trial, two riders wearing the leader's jersey for a total of seven stages, and two individual state wins – all within the first nine stages.
And then reality struck. "The first nine days were a dream," Michael Hepburn told Cyclingnews. "But now one by one, everyone's going home." The team goes into the final week with only three riders, (not four, as Hepburn said), and “It's getting quite lonely on the bus."
The other two remaining riders, Ivan Santaromita, and Svein Tuft, who wore the first maglia rosa this year, are both suffering from lingering illness or crash injuries, so "I am the only one who has got through unscathed," Hepburn said.
But that won't stop them from trying. "There's still a week to go and with the mountains, it's going to be quite tough but we've got a good group who is motivated to finish here."
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