Team Garmin-Cervélo enjoyed its second and final rest day at the Giro d’Italia on Monday catching its collective breath and preparing for the final week of the corsa rosa.
The rest day comes at a good time after two brutal weeks of racing in what everyone is agreeing is one of the most challenging and difficult Giro in years.
“We’ve had a good first two weeks of the Giro. We had David Millar in the pink jersey. We’ve had some good placings. We had Christophe Le-Mével close to the jersey during the second week,” said Garmin-Cervélo’s sport director Bingen Fernández.
“All that’s missing now is the stage victory. We’ll take stock on the rest day and see how everyone recovers. There will be opportunities to look for a stage win in the final week.”
The team scheduled a short training ride and otherwise lounged around the hotel to relax and take it easy. Looking ahead to the final week, Fernández said the team will continue to support Le-Mével and his quest of finishing in the top-10 overall when the Giro concludes May 29 in Milano.
“Christophe had a few difficult days in the Dolomites, but he’s still in good position. The climbs of the coming week suit him better and he can still move up, so we’ll ride for him,” Fernández said.
“The fatigue of the final week will be a factor. There will be openings that we can exploit. We have to be patient and read the race. A lot depends on how the GC picture is shaping up. If the top podium spots are more secured, then there’s room to move from behind. Anything can happen in this Giro. It’s so hard.”
Fernández suggested the best way for Le-Mével to move up is to sneak into a breakaway. He’s far enough back that the peloton’s big GC favorites would let him chase his chances. And if he cannot power into a breakaway, there are others, such as Millar, Cameron Meyer and Peter Stetina who can play their card in the final week.
“Peter is doing very well. The most important thing for him is to make it to Milan and finish his first grand tour, but if he’s feeling good, he can try. Cameron, too, will be ready to attack. He was on the attack on the stage to Grossglockner,” he said.
“Millar really wants to win a stage. He’s so strong right now. He’s already had the jersey, but he wants to win a stage. We have the final-day time trial, with Dave and Cam as good options.”
Fernández characterized Tuesday’s 12km time trial up to the Nevegal ski area as “almost another rest day. Everyone will get up it as best they can, but it’s not our speciality. It will be a day for the GC riders and the pure climbers to try to win a stage.”
More photos from the Giro d’Italia: