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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
If Tom Dumoulin goes on to win this Giro d’Italia, he will owe much to his Sunweb teammates. On Wednesday’s 11th stage of the race they did important work limiting the gains of a dangerous breakaway, leading the peloton for many kilometres on the peaks and valleys towards Bagno di Romagna.
The squad must do the same in the days ahead, hammering themselves to protect his Maglia Rosa and to keep him in pink. There will be countless attacks on his jersey, and while Dumoulin is clearly in career-best shape, he will need his foot soldiers around him between now and the end of the race.
One of those who will be crucial to his hopes is Chad Haga. The American’s importance was underlined when he accompanied the Dutchman on a full three-week altitude camp in the build-up to the Giro d’Italia. The two spent the time together in Sierra Nevada and Tenerife, putting in the necessary grunt work at altitude.
Dumoulin was working hard there to be at his best in the Giro and, likewise, so too Haga.
“Being at the Giro this year, supporting Tom, is a shift in role for me,” the 28-year-old Texan told CyclingTips in the buildup to the race. “In my first Vuelta we were there supporting [Warren] Barguil and his GC. But since then, the two Giros I’ve done and Vuelta last year were stage-hunting. That’s physically a very different ask than being a support rider for a GC guy.
Click through to read the full interview on CyclingTips.