Tom Dumoulin wins Giro d’Italia following time-trial masterclass
Tom Dumoulin became the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia after a time-trial masterclass on the final stage from Monza to Milan.
Stage 21 of the 100th Giro promised a tense finale, with just 53 seconds separating leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar), second-placed Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain–Merida), third-placed Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and fourth-placed Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
Dumoulin completed the flat, 29.3km course in the day’s second-fastest time, 15 seconds down on winner Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) but 54 seconds ahead of Nibali, 1min 24sec in front of Quintana and 1min 27sec better off than Pinot.
The result saw Dumoulin win overall by 31 seconds from runner-up Quintana and 40 seconds from third-placed Nibali.
Dumoulin, who is the first Dutchman to win a Grand Tour since Joop Zoetemelk won the Tour de France in 1980, said: "It's really crazy. I cannot describe it with words. It's incredible. It was such a nerve-wracking day. I was super-nervous from the beginning of the day. I needed to stay calm, but I almost couldn't.
"But I did it. I had good legs and I just went for it. I spoke to my team director and he said, 'Only if we're sure, I'll tell you not to take risks in the corners', and he did it at halfway already, and I thought, 'Oh man, this is early to say something like that'.
“And then I crossed the line and they said, 'You won it'. But then I sat here in front of the TV and it was only a few seconds and I was really angry. But eventually I pulled it off and it's incredible."
Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) won the best young rider’s white jersey after overhauling previous holder Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) in the time trial, while Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) safely negotiated the final stage to wrap up victory in the mountains and points classifications respectively.
HOW THE RACE WAS WON
Stage 21 started at the Monza motor racing circuit and ended in front of the Duomo in central Milan.
Dumoulin made a flying start and was already 17 seconds ahead of Nibali and Zakarin, 26 seconds quicker than Pinot and 33 seconds in front of Quintana at the first intermediate split, after 8.8km.
He had stretched those leads to 37 seconds over Nibali, 48 seconds over Zakarin, 53 seconds over Pinot and one minute over Quintana by the 17.4km split, and then continued to pull away in the final sector to seal the first Grand Tour victory of his career.
Van Emden, meanwhile, was only two seconds ahead of Dumoulin at the 8.8km split and still just six seconds in front by 17.4km, but he distanced his fellow Dutchman in the final 10km to clinch his first Grand Tour stage win.
There can only be one man for this honour: Dumoulin. Granted, the two time trials on this year’s course played into his hands, but he still had to fend off the combined challenge of Nibali and Quintana with comparatively little support from his team-mates. Winning the maglia rosa was a huge achievement.
WHAT THEY SAID
Quintana: “We gave everything. We worked hard, and when you work hard and when you do things like that, although you don’t get the prize you wish for, you know that things have been done in the right way.
“We keep picking up podiums in Grand Tours, and we are happy. We have had very good moments. We took two beautiful stages. We pushed on and we saw a lot of great teamwork. That has all given us confidence to keep on taking on our big rivals at the best events.”
Van Emden: "I was too many times second [in his career], and this is a great day for Dutch cycling. Tom wins, I win, finally. I think there are two really happy people here.
"I was two seconds faster [than Dumoulin] and then six seconds faster, but my second part was really fast and I only gained four seconds, so I thought, 'Ooh, no no no', but then I saw him coming around the corner and the clock was ticking. I shouted out and [there were] so much emotions for winning a stage of a Grand Tour. I'm so happy."
STAGE IN A TWEET
FINAL CLASSIFICATION FROM GIRO D'ITALIA
1. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Sunweb) 90:34:54"
2. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) +31"
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Bahrain) +40"
4. Thibaut Pinot (France / FDJ) +1:17"
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Russia / Katusha) +1:56"
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +3:11"
7. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek) +3:41"
8. Bob Jungels (Luxembourg / Quick-Step) +7:04"
9. Adam Yates (Britain / Orica) +8:10"
10. Davide Formolo (Italy / Cannondale) +15:17"