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by Shane Stokes
May 18, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Fraile scoops stage 11 of Giro d’Italia after day of attacking; Huffman leads Rally 1-2 on stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California; Marta Bastianelli sprints to victory on short stage 1 of Emakumeen Bira; Boasson Hagen nabs victory on stage one of Tour of Norway; Dumoulin: ‘I wasn’t too stressed’; Costa rues near-miss, pledges to try again; Double Giro points jersey winner Nizzolo forced out of Giro; Cavendish uncertain about his return to racing: “It could be 10 days, it could be one year”; Former MotoGP world champion struck by a car in Italy; Protecting pink: Haga playing a vital role in Dumoulin’s Maglia Rosa defence; Arrest made over $100,000 SwiftCarbon Australia smash and grab; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 11 Pre-Race; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 11 Post-Race; Video: Nathan Haas – Interview at the start of Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia
Although the Movistar team of Nairo Quintana and others did what they could to put Team Sunweb under pressure on Tom Dumoulin’s first day in pink, the riders rose to the challenge and defended his Maglia Rosa. He was always likely to come under attack after going deep to win Tuesday’s time trial, but looked solid on the day’s climbs and ended the day satisfied.
“We weren’t thinking about the riders up the road in the break today. We just focused on what we were doing and went at our own pace,” he said. “I knew if we carried on doing that all day that we would be fine. It was also in other team’s benefit to help bring the gap down, which of course was good for us.
“I took it easy on the first part of the last descent so I could get back to Laurens [Ten Dam] and he could pull so I wasn’t too stressed about the attacks that came then. The guys did a great job, it was amazing team work from everybody and I’m really happy.”
Resisting the attacks was important as it will enable him to settle into the pink jersey and to show his rivals that he won’t be intimidated. Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek anticipated that a big day was in store, and said it was important that Laurens Ten Dam was in the day’s early move.
“We knew today would be really difficult for the GC but we stayed calm and stuck to the plan. There were some good numbers and names in the first group but we had Laurens up there. The plan was for Laurens to wait on the last climb for Tom, so he always had someone with him. The plan worked out perfectly, we were calm at the beginning where it was pretty chaotic and the guys kept control of the gap all day.”