The under-27 Giro d’Italia, the GiroBio has taken its toll on the British team. The team lost Erick Rowsell to a crash Wednesday and George Atkins abandoned the next day.
Luke Rowe, making problems worse, started the GiroBio off his best form. Two days before the race began, he was vomiting and not feeling well.
“He was my main guy and I built the team around him,” Sports Director Max Sciandri told Cycling Weekly. “If Luke is not up to it then 3/4 of my team is gone. He is a leader and the other guys look up to him.”
Rowe is getting better, but it is too late as the race ends tomorrow in Tuscany. Regardless, Sciandri is rethinking the GiroBio.
“I am not coming back next year. You need a rider like Pete Kennaugh or Luke Rowe going at 110 per cent to come and do something here, if not then it is a hammering every day.
“Maybe if the organisers change the rules to make the race under 23, because as it is now some of these guys have raced the professional Worlds already. I have guys like Chris Whorrall and George Atkins, who were juniors last year – just imagine the differences.”
Kennaugh races for Team Sky this year, but last year he won a stage and finished third overall at the GiroBio.
Colombian Carlos Betancur continues to lead this year’s race and looks likely to win tomorrow. Venezuelan Jonathan Alejandro Monsalve won today’s stage to Vitolini, 170.9 kilometres.
Rowe and Mark Christian missed the escapes, but were in the main chasing group. Andrew Fenn was in a group further back and Whorrall struggled home in one of the last groups.
Rowe, 20, won the ZLM Tour last year and earlier this year, won the British National Madison Championships with Christian. He and his team-mates face a hard final stage, the same gravel roads used in the Giro d’Italia’s stage to Montalcino last month.
“Luke, Andy and Mark will be up for it,” continued Sciandri, “but I know the guys can do better than they have so far.”