It hasn’t been a plain sailing season for Giant-Alpecin as at the start they were involved in a nasty training ride accident at their winter camp in Spain as a number of star riders were seriously injured.
But fast forward a couple of months and they have lined up at the Giro D’Italia looking to put the bad events of January behind them; and at the moment they have good reason to cheer as Tom Dumoulin is currently occupying the Maglia Rosa.
But for some riders they have missed important goals for the season; take John Degenkolb who was at the start of the season a pre-race favourite for Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, but because of injury he is only just getting back to full fitness.
But Iwan Spekenbrink, team manager insist the goal was getting everybody back and fit for the main objective, the Tour de France. And at the moment they are well on course for doing that.
Spekenbrink said the team had an accident ‘bigger than cycling’ earlier in the season
The accident was very severe as a motorist swerved on the wrong side of the road and hit the group of riders head on.
Chad Haga, the American, required 98 stitches for an injury he received but somehow he has found the strength to be fighting fit for the Giro where Giant have pinned their hopes on Dumoulin for overall victory.
Speaking before Stage two, Spekenbrink said: "We had an accident that was bigger than cycling; at that moment there were lives at stake.”
One of the main aspects why Giant have recovered so well, is that the management didn’t set any targets for the riders to get back – the main ingredient was time.
“We needed time and we said, 'if everyone keeps working the team will get back to full strength we will show we are better again. Just give us a bit of time'," said Spekenbrink.
The Tour is certainly the target and it looks as though, Giant will have their big hitters back for cycling’s biggest event.
Spekenbrink said: “We saw it in the Ardennes Classics, where we did pretty well, Romandie as well, and this was a really nice tipping point."