With a palmares as long as a ticker tape (three Tours of Flanders, three Paris-Roubaix wins, four world championships), Fabian Cancellara is one of the patrons of the modern peloton. And he flexed that muscle Thursday — not for himself or his Trek – Segafredo team, but on behalf of Giro leader Tom Dumoulin.

Dumoulin’s Giant – Alpecin teammate Chad Haga doffed his cap (on Twitter) to the Swiss master after the stage on Thursday. Cancellara helped Haga’s team slow an unruly peloton while Dumoulin was stopped for a nature break.

According to broadcast reports, the offending team was Lampre – Merida, which would have likely been working for Diego Ulissi, winner of stage 4. Not surprisingly, Twitter followers got wound up by the potential controversy. Haga, however, was quick to tamp down any polemics, assuring the world that he was simply offering his thanks to Cancellara.

Such is the daily peloton drama at a grand tour, especially in the always stressful first week of racing.