Forecast fine for Garmin-Sharp without Ryder Hesjedal

David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal, Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 12

Ryder Hesjedal has hit back at observations he was "soft" for abandoning the Giro d'Italia as his Garmin-Sharp team prepares to enter the final week with re-evaluated goals.

"If not continuing in the worlds toughest bike race because of a respiratory infection makes me soft then I would rather be soft not stupid (sic)," the 2012 champion published on his Twitter page overnight.

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Sophie Smith is an Australian journalist, broadcaster and author of Pain & Privilege: Inside Le Tour. She follows the WorldTour circuit, working for British, Australian and US press, and has covered 10 Tours de France.