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Giro Notebook, Stage 16: Stetina vows comeback; Meier hanging tough; snow for Stelvio

FALZES, Italy (VN) – Peter Stetina (Garmin-Barracuda) is kicking himself for not eating enough in Sunday’s wet slog and dropping out of contention for the Giro’s white jersey. Stetina got the bonk Sunday and slipped out of the top 20 overall, down to 38th and 20:07 back.

“It was a case of having bad legs on a bad day. It was the wrong day to feel bad. We’ve been doing a lot of work early. The weather got to me and I just didn’t eat right. I was dropped with guys who are not even considered climbers,” Stetina told VeloNews. “It’s a huge shame, because you build your whole spring around the Giro and it’s down the drain with one bad day.”

Stetina was hoping to build on his excellent Giro debut last year, when he rode to 21st overall. He was quietly hoping for a top 10 this year and a shot at the best young rider’s white jersey. All that crumbled late in Sunday’s stage when he lost contact with the lead group ahead of the final climb.

“Who knows, maybe there is an escape in my future now, because I am now 20 minutes down,” he said. “I felt better on the rest day. It wasn’t like my form is gone. If you don’t have the form, you get dropped when it hits the fan. Where I got dropped, something was obviously very wrong. It was just not normal. I’ve got something to prove. I have a personal vendetta I have to score with this Giro.”

Stetina, who along with Christian Vande Velde is one of Hesjedal’s top helpers on the climbs, vows to be there to help him in the coming string of decisive mountain stages looming in the Dolomites.

“It’s all about Ryder anyway,” he said. “I hope to repay him for my lack of judgment in the cold and the eating. I didn’t adapt well to the cold and I am smaller than some of these other guys. I didn’t eat right and it was a stupid amateur mistake. I am not going to make that one again. Lesson learned.”

Stetina also said the Italians have underestimated Hesjedal and said the team is hoping to keep the Canadian in contention over the coming days going into the final-day time trial in Milan.

“We are so happy right now. From the beginning, Ryder said he’s come here to ride the GC. And the world has finally taken stock of that. We’re relaxed at the dinner table every night. We’re joking and we’re enjoying sticking it to Italy,” Stetina said. “Ryder is such a laid-back guy; he is really focused on what he needs to do. He knows that when he has the goods not many people can follow that.”

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