Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin retains his lead in the overall standings after no time losses to his main GC competitors at stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.
Team Sunweb’s time spent training altitude was noticeable during the 4000 metres of climbing in today’s stage with Chad Haga, Sindre Skjøstad Lunke, Simon Geschke, Phil Bauhaus, Tom Stamsnijder and Georg Preidler maintaining control of the race and limiting losses to the team’s Maglia Rose. When two riders broke free and a chase group formed, Laurens Ten Dam joined in the action out front, keeping an eye on proceedings in the break. As the then splintered bunch reached the last climb of the day, Laurens dropped back from the break to ensure Tom had a rider with him to help defend the jersey going into the last kilometres. Both Laurens and Tom rolled across the line with the general classification contenders and as a result, Tom wears the Maglia Rosa again tomorrow.
After stage 11 Tom said: “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. 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 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.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “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. I am really proud of how the team road and we are all really happy to keep the Maglia Rosa for another day.”