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‘We’ve still got big goals for him’ – Team explains why Sam Welsford isn’t racing Giro d’Italia

'We’ve still got big goals for him' – Team explains why Sam Welsford isn't racing Giro d'Italia

When the Bora-Hansgrohe team for the Giro d’Italia was announced it was widely expected to include sprinter Sam Welsford, who had joined the team in January and straight away delivered an impressive winning run at the Tour Down Under, but there was no sign of the Australian’s name on the list.

Lining up to make a debut in the Italian Grand Tour had been in the early plans, with the usual caveat of “all going well with selection” being added by the rider when he discussed the possibility with Cyclingnews at the start of the season. Things changed through the following months, with the rider who had been key to Welsford’s lead out in South Australia, Danny van Poppel, chosen to line up as the team’s sprinter for the Giro d’Italia instead.

“We were thinking of bringing Sam here, particularly after his super great start to the year, coming into the team and smashing it in the Tour Down Under with three stage wins,”  head sports director Rolf Aldag told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2 of the Giro. “But then he lost a little bit for different reasons – health, program, this and that.”

After the trio of victories at the Tour Down Under there was just one podium placing through the early season, with a third in March at the UAE Tour on stage 5, and beyond that the best result was a seventh at the race known as the unofficial sprinters World Championships, Scheldeprijs. The winning form was not in evidence as it had been in January for the rider who came from the track and joined the WorldTour in 2022.

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