I had already realized it wouldn’t be a Giro d’Italia like the others a long time ago. Maybe even in January, or February, when I was fighting that tendonitis that always seemed on the verge of disappearing, only to resurface continuously. I was seriously afraid that the #Giro100 in the Tricolore jersey would have remained just a painful mirage. I fought hard, I managed to be there, and I have to credit my Trek-Segafredo team for believing in me, and granting the opportunity to start in Sardinia.
With only six racing days in my legs, I knew I would have to suffer a lot, but I was ok with it. Fourth in Olbia, third in Cagliari: mind factored even more than legs in those two results, but I was there with the strongest anyway. Then the allergy, the asthma, the suffering day in, day out: I was struggling to recover, but I tried to bite the bullet, hoping to be back to my usual self in time for the finishes in Reggio Emilia and Tortona. But then, after the time trial, the team doctors were clear in recommending I shouldn’t insist.
It was not a good idea, because I would have never been competitive in Reggio Emilia and Tortona, because there is still a long season to go, and because I think I can be better than what I managed to show in this Giro. But leaving the Corsa Rosa for the first time really hurt me, also for all the fans who write to me on the social media every day, telling they were waiting to see me dressed in the Italian colors deep in the Giro. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen.
What now? Recovery first, then I will be back to racing in June, and start building up for the second half of the season. Because there is still a lot to do and to give in 2017, and I want to bring smiles to all those fans who were hoping to see me at the Giro, possibly with my arms raised to the sky. Here is my promise: Giro, I will be back, and back soon. And it will be an all-different story.