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"We were supposed to win. As much as anyone is ever supposed to win in sport. The work had been done on Tenerife. Rigoberto had two second-place finishes under his belt, and a team that was dedicated to him."

Photo: Sirotti

EF PRO CYCLING

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FABRIZIO GUIDI

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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RIGOBERTO URAN

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SIMON CLARKE

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03.06.2016 @ 22:45 Posted by Henriette Brandt

After an aggressive race that ended with a 7th place for Rigoberto Uran and a few near-misses, the Cannondale riders and staff have reflected on the Giro d'Italia.

 

Matthew Beaudin, Cannondale Pro Cycling Team communications director

We were supposed to win. As much as anyone is ever supposed to win in sport. The work had been done on Tenerife. Rigoberto had two second-place finishes under his belt, and a team that was dedicated to him. Winning the Giro was the primary objective. We weren’t shy about that. But three weeks later, it didn’t go down like that. Illness rippled through the team, a crash at the wrong moment (there’s never a right moment) and lost time had us fighting to get back into the top 10. It’s a timeless lesson; no one is ever guaranteed a win — it takes the right legs and luck. Rigoberto battled back for a seventh on GC. And we were competitive until the last moments of the race. Neither the riders nor the staff left with their heads down. Here’s what they had to say about the 2016 Giro — a beautiful race to be a part of and a beautiful race to watch.

 

 

JOE DOMBROWSKI

We came here with a big objective with Rigo. And overall we rode a good race. Maybe we were off the mark GC wise. But I think we made up for that by really riding an attacking race throughout three weeks. Stage 18, Moreno was second. And I came close on stage 20. Even if you don’t win I think it still is worth going out there and riding aggressively and putting on a good show for people. Obviously it’s about winning, but it’s not always all about winning. To be honest, I tried almost every mountain day to win a stage. I was always up there in the mix and it never panned out. Regarding stage 20, yeah, I’m bummed. I thought I was the strongest on the climbs, but I didn’t win. Home roads, my friends and family were here, and I really wanted to win. But I tried, And I have no regrets. There are a lot of clear lessons throughout the race. Maybe I could have played possum better. If people know you’re strong, they don’t want to work with the strong guy. And maybe I made it too obvious too early that I was going good. On a climb like that, with a bit of headwind and some flatter sections — if people don’t want to work with you, it gets to be a tricky situation. I think it’s something that you already know, but it reinforces: you don’t need to do any more than anybody else. 

 

 

RAMUNAS NAVARDAUSKAS

The hardest moment was stage 19. We had this flat part. We needed to try to get into the breakaways. You attack. You try to make the correct group. And then we hit the mountains, and the first was so hard, so difficult, that I was one of the first to drop from the peloton. I thought im my head I was already home. No bad feelings or angry with myself, just like, ‘yeah, that’s it.’ But I just kept pedaling. Keep going keep going. And then I saw that the guys who were starting to suffer a little bit more than I was — they made a grupetto. And I saw them 30 seconds in front of me. I came back to them.

 

 

NATE BROWN

I came into the Giro knowing I was doing it a week before it started. I hadn’t mentally prepped for it. So just to get through this Giro, to get fourth on a stage? I’m super excited about that. I wasn’t planning on doing it. The team rode great. We were in almost every breakaway. So all in all, the Giro was a success. Yeah, we didn’t get a stage win, but we left it all out there. The fourth place — I for sure left it all out there. I couldn’t have done any better. Do I want to win? Yes. Hopefully there will be other grand tour stages where I’ll get my chance.

 

 

MORENO MOSER, ON STAGE 18

Everyone knew that the race today was on the climb of Pramartino. Ramunas helped me a lot to be there with the group all together and not waste energy. Me and Brambilla knew we were the strongest on the climb. We talked a little bit before the climb, he told me that we were the strongest and we have to try to not flick the other one and work together until the finish. We were the same. No one was able to drop the other one. We stayed together but then Brambilla told me that he could not pull because Trentin was coming. I tried to drop him on the last kick but I was not able to to. We came into the last K together but I knew that I was probably faster so I said ‘just wait, wait, wait.’ But I didn’t know that Trentin was coming so fast. The radio had come out of my ear so it was my fault to not have that information. When I saw him I was like ‘what’s happening?!‘ but it was too late.

 

 

ANDRE CARDOSO

The hardest moment was when Rigo crashed in the TT. Our team worked a lot for this Giro, and then we saw Rigo in a bad moment, bad luck that day. That was the worst moment for me. And after that we kept on. Keeping the team GC up there. Fighting for stages and the overall also. The best? When I stayed in the breakaway, with Valverde and Rigo. I tried to help Rigo chase Nibali and Chaves. I enjoy it when I can do my job like that.

 

 

FABRIZIO GUIDI, DIRECTOR

I‘m pleased with this Giro. We showed incredible teamwork. To arrive here with nine guys, to arrive here in the top ten, to arrive here with the youngest team. To arrive here with such commitment — for me it‘s a great result. I hope you bring this with you for the future. When you have a great experience like this and you can share it with another - this is how you improve spirit. Team spirit. I saw some guys giving all their strength for guys. It was windy, you were in one line. This is team spirit. I see these these things. I saw this guy [points at Ramunas Navardauskus] third at world‘s, working for Moreno, no problem. I saw this guy [points at Rigoberto Uran] bringing bottles to the others on the flat stages. This is team spirit.

 

 

SIMON CLARKE

I think we had a great performance as a whole team. And the fact that we arrived second on the team’s classification is evident of how well the team was going and how well we all prepared for this race and how well all performed. The fact that nearly everyone on the whole team got sick at some stage only leaves you to think how we might have been able to go without that sickness. But I think having that, we managed to have some great results. I’m happy with it. Personally I had no result, but the priority for me here was to look after the guys and make sure we looked after Rigo. He didn’t have any mishaps on my watch. it was more the sickness that was the telling factor. 

 

 

RIGOBERTO URAN

When I think back on this Giro I’ll think that it was a nice race. For me, it’s important to arrive to the podium. This year it wasn’t possible, because in the Dolomites I was sick. I’m very happy with the team, though. Because the whole Giro, it was always teamwork. Always together. We were in the first group, in the second group. Everybody was focused. Everybody was ready. Always in the breakaway. We tried to win a stage. I’m happy with the team. We worked together. Everybody was all in for this Giro to win…But you know, it’s cycling. 

 

 

BINGEN FERNANDEZ

I’m satisfied with how the team worked. It was really good to see all the boys be part of the race. To take the initiative. To be part of the key moments. That is a satisfaction we have. We came with the idea to win the pink jersey, but you know, sometimes you have the idea, then the road puts you in your place. This time it was the health, it was the rain, the sickness. It put us two steps down, and we were chasing from there. We were trying to get the boys healthy, we were trying to get the boys good. And they did get better. But in the end, it was too late, no? It’s the way it is, we can’t change anything. But in general, I think being second on the team GC, seeing all the guys who’ve been there, five, six guys in the front every day. For the team I think it was a good job. We have to be happy and satisfied with it.

 

 

ALBERTO BETTIOL

Teamwork comes to mind. The team members. This is my first grand tour, and I’m very proud to be part of this great team. And I don’t mean only riders. I mean the whole staff. I’ll remember for sure all these great people. And of course, racing on my roads, with all the people — It’s a thing I won’t forget all of my life. It’s been fun. Holland, with all the people. Italy as well. Coming after the stages to the restaurant and sharing our thoughts… to be together is so fun.

 

 

DAVIDE FORMOLO

What do I love about the Giro? The people. The atmosphere. The team, The feeling in the race. The fans are so friendly, and everywhere I am, I feel like I’m home. Everybody is always supporting me really well. Sometimes it’s unbelievable if I’m in grupetto, when they see me that say, ‘Oh! Formolino Formolino!’ and they love me, no?

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