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The 35 year-old Canadian who won the Giro in 2012 Giro, feels confident that his form is improving stage by stage and he remains optimistic that he will be able to make the best of every opportunity that arises.

Photo: Sirotti






12.05.2016 @ 08:49 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

After Wednesday’s 233km race from Praia a Mare to Benevento, Hesjedal remains 27th overall at 1 minute 17 seconds to race leader Tom Dumoulin.


“Tuesday was a complicated stage,” Hesjedal told VeloNews on Wednesday after stage 5 outside his Trek – Segafredo team bus. “I’m just extremely happy to be feeling the way I am feeling,” he said. “It’s not the easiest process to go for the GC in a grand tour. I’m not getting any younger. It was a big challenge for me this year, and I am sticking to my beliefs and my plan, but as you go along you always … Sometimes you get nervous.”


Hesjedal said he was encouraged by his stage 1 time trial result. He placed 41st on that stage, 33 seconds behind winner Dumoulin, and only 14 seconds behind Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). He also finished at the same time as Cannondale’s Rigoberto Urán and seven seconds ahead of Sky’s Mikel Landa.


“Right from the moment, from the first day, compared to how I’ve been the last month and half of racing …” Hesjedal said. “I am extremely pleased how the form has come and how I believe it will continue to improve. I’m not sure of it, but that is the idea. The feeling I have, the way the body has responded — I have trimmed up, the power I have. It has all come perfectly which is not easy by any means to get.”


One of the benefits of growing older and gaining experience is the ability to see things in perspective. As far as Hesjedal is concerned, that translates into not worrying about the loss of a few measly seconds.


“I have to look at the bright side. I can’t get worried about seconds in bike races anymore. There’s a lot more going on.”


Hesjedal enjoys a reputation of being a strong finisher in the grand tours.


As such, he is slightly worried that Sunday’s 40.5km, undulating 9 time trial in Chianti comes too early in the race. Last year’s long time trial was on stage 14 from Treviso to Valdobbiadene over 59.4km. He placed 16th and rose five places overall to 15th before finishing fifth to winner Alberto Contador.


“Hopefully, it is not too early in the race for me. I was a little worried about that. Last year was a lot better for me. It was very long and at the end of two weeks. That showed in the results. You just have to limit the damage. Maybe I can take some seconds back on others. Then the uphill one [on stage 15] is even better for pure climbers with 10km of climbing.”



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