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by Shane Stokes
May 4, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Räim wins opening stage of Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Six years after her brother Wouter’s passing, Elke Weylandt shares views on Giro’s descending competition; Giro d’Italia abandons controversial descending competition; Kelly: Quintana is the man to beat for Giro, and could double up at the Tour; Nibali: ‘It’s not easy to be on the highest step of the podium’; Dumoulin: ‘Winning the Giro is normally out of reach’; Pozzovivo talks up difficulty of Giro d’Italia; In ‘best shape’ for years, Hansen ready for 17th consecutive Grand Tour; Greipel eyeing Maglia Rosa, but also says Classics could delay top sprint form; Rumsas’ son passed away 24 hours after being released from hospital; McLaren says he’s been threatened over doping report; Cyclist dies after hitting parked car in Melbourne; Video: A sort of homecoming – Adam Blythe at #TDY2017; Video: 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Ostend preview; Video: 2017 Redlands Bicycle Classic preview
Although Tom Dumoulin has concentrated fully on being in the best shape possible to aim for the general classification, he appears to downplay his chances of taking the final Maglia Rosa.
“I’m here to do really well on GC,” the Team Sunweb rider said. “Winning the Giro is normally out of reach. To do so, I’d need to be in my best shape ever and also have all possible luck.
“Nairo Quintana is the favourite. In the past years and last month, he’s been showing that even at 90 percent of his capacities, he’s playing for the win. Riders like Steven Kruijswijk and myself, at 95 percent we can’t compete for the win. Vincenzo Nibali is always dangerous. Last year I didn’t expect him to win the Giro and he did.”
The Dutchman said that his preparation has gone well and that he is backed by a strong team. “We’re mentally and physically fresh for three weeks. I only rode for GC once, at the Vuelta a España two years ago. Uphill I was just limiting the losses. Since them, I’m calmer and I’ve made some improvements uphill.
“The first half of the Giro is not super difficult. I don’t think the differences on GC will be big after Etna and the Blockhaus. The stage that includes Stelvio and Mortirolo is the hardest but any of the stages in the last week can’t be underestimated.”