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Giro Notebook, Stage 4: Garmin’s TTT prowess; Haedo hopeful

Haedo hopeful for sprints

J.J. Haedo (Saxo Bank) is optimistic about his chances for a stage victory during this year’s Giro d’Italia following his promising second place in Monday’s third stage.

Only Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) could fend off the Argentine fast man, who has been making steady progress since joining CSC in 2007 to race full-time in Europe.

“The goal this year is win a stage at the Giro,” Haedo told VeloNews. “I will have more riders supporting for the sprints this year, so I hope to have a few shots at winning a sprint.”

Haedo, 31, became the first Argentine to win a grand tour stage last year at the Vuelta a España. Since 2007, he’s picked up consistent results despite having to largely freelance in the sprints, with wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Rund um Koln (2007, 2010).

The absence of stage-race captain Alberto Contador is opening up some space for Haedo this season. With Contador sidelined until August following his clenbuterol case, the Argentine is seeing more support than ever in the sprints.

“I have usually been on my own for the sprints, so to have two or three riders helping me out in the final kilometers will make a big difference,” Haedo said. “I would love to win a stage in the Giro. I have raced it before, but I still was not up to the level. I am much stronger now and I believe I have at least one stage win in my legs.”

Haedo should get another chance in Thursday’s fifth stage, which should be another shot for the sprinters.

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