The green team lined out the group along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea on stage six of the Giro to try and bring back the escape and set up a win for Canadian Michael Woods.
They came within 39 seconds and Woods followed through, leading ahead of the race’s GC stars for fourth place, or first behind the escape.
“We will have more chances,” Italian sports director Fabrizio Guidi said.
Guidi sat on a railing near the team car in Terme Luigiane, in Italy’s Reggio Calabria region.
Teams Quick-Step and BMC Racing rolled by. The former have the overall leader Bob Jungels and BMC Racing the stage winner Silvan Dillier.
Its not budget, experience or talent, explained Guidi, that separates Cannondale from those teams.
“No, sometimes it’s just luck. They are good, sure, they have strong riders, but let’s make this judgement at the end of the Giro.
“We will be protagonists above all in the mountains.”
Guidi complimented his 30-year-old Canadian when he rolled to bus. In the days and weeks ahead, Woods could help mountain men like American Joe Dombrowski, Frenchman Pierre Rolland and Italian Davide Formolo.
Formolo won the team’s last WorldTour race when he escaped for a hard-fought, stressful stage to La Spezia. That was two years ago to the day, on May 12.
Cannondale won once so far this season in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali. In comparison, the top team Quick-Step has 26 wins already this year.
“I am a little bit sad [about stage six], we had an opportunity, and we missed it,” added Guidi
“There are many chances, but we are still in the first bit of the Giro, after the time trial, when the mountains begin, when the mountains are in the first part of the stage, the strategy changes.
“For now, the GC men are looking at each other and there’s no reason to drop out of the GC to try to go in the escapes when the escapes are not going to survive. We need patience.”
“It’s a bit open and we can look for stage wins,” Joe Dombrowski explained. “There haven’t been many stages that suit us.”
Dombrowski escaped on a couple of occasions in the 2016 Giro d’Italia.
In the last mountain stage, partly spurred on by his visiting parents Valerie and Dan, he survived for third place. This year, in the last week, they are coming again with his girlfriend Milica.
“I’m looking towards the last week once week get into the big mountain stages. I didn’t have the best spring or run in, but hopefully when we get to the third week I’ll be firing on all cylinders.
“You kind of have to take advantage of any opportunities that are there. You can circle a stage, but you have to get in a break and everything has to go right.
“Sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes things go awry, so I think just looking at that last week in general and taking any opportunities that come.”