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by Shane Stokes
June 7, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Bouwman quickest of breakaway group to win stage three of the Critérium du Dauphiné; Froome to measure himself against GC riders in Critérium du Dauphiné time trial; Dumoulin extends Team Sunweb contract, commits until end of 2021; 2016 runner-up Izagirre in strong condition for Tour de Suisse; Colbrelli extends with Bahrain-Merida; Coquard needs to give ‘guarantees’ to get Tour de France ride; With report looming, British Cycling directors set to be replaced under new reforms; The Dos and Don’ts of Racing; New Iphone operating system to include a safety feature which should protect cyclists; Video: Thomas De Gendt post-race interview, Stage 3 Critérium du Dauphiné 2017; Video: Respect the riders; Video: Alberto Contador at Teide’s training camp; Video: Hammer Series Chase: Onboard highlights; Video: Why I Love Cycling
Stage winner in the 2016 Tour de France and second overall in the Tour de Suisse, Ion Izagirre will lead the Bahrain-Merida squad in the upcoming Swiss event. The race starts on Saturday and runs until the following Sunday, acting as a final warm-up for many riders prior to the Tour de France.
Izagirre took a stage plus that GC runner-up finish in last year’s race, and has been altitude training in Teide to be in strong shape for the event. “I feel very well after the altitude training camp,” he said. “It’s the first time that I’ve trained together with a group of teammates under the direction of the coach, with masseur and mechanics. I’m happy about this new good experience with Team Bahrain-Merida and in Switzerland I’m going to check my form ahead of my next main aim: the Tour de France.”
He will be joined by seven others, namely Valerio Agnoli, Niccolò Bonifazio, Ondrej Cink, Ivan Cortina, Enrico Gasparotto, Tsgabu Grmay, and Javier Moreno.
“The plan is clear,” states directeur sportif Harald Morscher. “We will ride to target the final podium, maybe even trying to take the overall win with Ion. We have a strong squad for that purpose, with riders like Moreno, Grmay and Cink, that will give a great support for sure.
“We will be looking for stage wins too. At the Tour de Suisse there are not many pure sprinters, because the route is quite hard. If Niccolò will be able to overcoming the climbs, as we think, he can show his qualities and his good form trying to sprint to victory. I will bet on Gasparotto too, because he is motivated and if he recovers well from the strains of the Giro, he can even try to win the stage with finish in Cevio, near his hometown.”