Froome vows to fight on; Dumoulin weighs up chances; Absalon retires: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Chris Froome is down but says he is not out; Tom Dumoulin is closer, but admits he has a battle on his hands. Giro riders keep moving on the rest day, some more than others.

Quote of the day

“Rest day on a grand tour, also know as the fastest day to pass by in the history of days. You wake up, go for a ride, have lunch and then it’s like 5pm and you’re like “HOW IS IT 5PM I FEEL LIKE JUST WOKE UP!” And before you know it, you’re back on the start line.”

Alex Dowsett on rest days via twitter.

Story of the day: Froome pledges to fight on in Giro d’Italia, says gap to pink ‘not insurmountable’

Although he cracked on Sunday and lost over a minute to his chief rivals, and although he now sits a full two minutes 27 seconds behind the race lead, Chris Froome has refused to rule out winning the Giro d’Italia. The Team Sky leader said on the race’s second rest day that he will fight on.

“I always came into the Giro with the plan of building into the race, with the bigger goal of doing the Giro d’Italia and going on to the Tour de France,” he said, speaking about his form. “It was never my objective to arrive right at the beginning of the Giro absolutely firing on all cylinders because as we’ve seen in riders who’ve done that in the past, they reach July and just have nothing.”

Click through to read more on CyclingTips.

Dispatches from the Giro d’Italia

Dumoulin: I’m not pessimistic, but it is going to be a real challenge to win this Giro

Defending Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulin slipped from second to third overall on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia, and will head into Tuesday’s tenth day of racing 38 seconds off the Maglia Rosa of Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott).

Speaking to VeloPro on Monday’s rest day, he said that things had gone solidly for him thus far, but that he had a fight on his hands to win the race for the second consecutive year. “So far so good. I am up there with the best, but not the very best,” he said, laughing. “That pretty much sums up the first nine days.

“I am not pessimistic, definitely not. But I know it is going to be real challenge to win this Giro, for sure. At the moment when the differences on the climbs stay like this, when I am losing every time a little bit, then it is going to be very difficult to win the Giro. But you never know what happens. So I am definitely not pessimistic.”

Dumoulin talks potential tactics in the video below, and also complements what he said was ‘spot on’ riding by Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team.

Giro rest day rides:

A look at some of the distances covered by the riders on the rest day. Of these, Grand Tour debutant Ryan Mullen went furthest, with 52 kilometres. In comparison, Eros Capecchi covered just 17.5 kilometres.

The next Giro stage

The Giro d’Italia resumes on Tuesday with the longest stage of the race. The trek from Penne to Gualdo Tadino covers 239 kilometres and includes some tough early climbing before a flat finish. A (reduced?) bunch sprint seems the most likely outcome, but perhaps it’s a day for the breakaway?

Julien Absalon announces retirement

World Champion (five-time), Gold Medalist (two-time) and too many other accolades to mention, French mountain biker Julien Absalon announced his retirement via social media a few hours ago:

The 37 year old took to Instagram to drop the news, “Next chapter, I decided to stop my XCO career. I’m now focus on the management of the Absolute-Absalon Team and with my Ambassador role for my partners. And maybe some new challenges on différents disciplines.”

Moving pictures

Video: Top 7 Best Sprints In Cycling

A compilation video featuring Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and others…

Mitchelton-Scott gets ready for Amgen Tour of California stage 2

Sneak attack

This happened on the Giro’s eighth stage, and echoes similar hi-jinks by other riders in cycling’s past…

If that doesn’t make sense, you can read the full story here.

Happy birthday to…

Former Vuelta a Espana winner Marino Lejarreta, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana stage winner Klaus-Peter Thaler, Vuelta runner-up Mikel Zarrabeitia and Tour stage winner Nicki Sørensen.

Today’s feature image comes from stage 8 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, and was taken by Gruber Images.

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