As he warmed down after the dramatic final half hour of racing in stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia, Jack Haig argued that Remco Evenepoel’s losing time was “probably the biggest takeaway from today” but warned that it had to be put into much broader perspective, starting with Sunday’s time trial.
“He’ll probably get a minute there [on the other GC rivals],” Haig told Cyclingnews, “so in that sense, the time he’s lost today will be negligible.”
From a spectator’s point of view, it was surprising that there was so little GC action on the set piece challenge of the Gran Sasso summit finish on Friday and then Saturday’s much shorter final category 4 ascent of I Cappuccini could be so intense.
“It was quite a hard fourth category, and quite close to the finish, that’s what it’s about,” Haig explained to Cyclingnews.
“Luckily there was no rain which was nice a change for the Giro this year, and then DSM controlled it all at the start The first time over the fourth cat., Ineos went super-hard, that set it up for the last 45 kilometres.
“Then we rode relatively hard, changing between Ineos and Jumbo-Visma on the second last climb. Then coming into the bottom of the final climb it was basically a race to the top because the time you had at the top was more or less the time you’d have at the bottom.”
Haig was “more or less” satisfied with how he performed, finishing in the same group as Evenepoel and clearly in contention with the other favourites. He is still lying 13th overall, 2:06 behind leader Andreas Leknessund (DSM) and just under two minutes behind Evenepoel.
“I’m there or thereabouts. I’ll just do the best chrono I can tomorrow [Sunday] while we wait for the proper mountains to arrive because we haven’t had a proper mountain test yet. That’ll come next week.”
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