Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) was involved in a very close call with his own team car on Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia.
Robbie McEwen had earlier described it as a “day from hell" for non-climbers, while fellow Eurosport expert Sean Kelly suggested the race could "lose some riders" due to the punishing climbs.
But it was a momentary lapse in concentration that could have cost Dumoulin dearly as the Jumbo-Visma rider was nearly involved in a crash with his team car.
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“Ohh! Thankfully, he stayed on his bike,” said Rob Hatch on commentary as Dumoulin swerved at the last minute to avoid disaster.
“We have had enough drama with Jumbo-Visma sport directors at this race, we don’t need any more!”
Hatch was perhaps referring to Jumbo-Visma’s decision to pull out on Stage 10 of the 2021 race due to concerns surrounding Covid, or back in 2019 when the team car was nowhere to be seen due to a poorly-timed comfort break on Stage 15 when race leader Primoz Roglic needed a bike change.
Thankfully, this time, an unfortunate incident was avoided.
Dumoulin, a pre-race favourite having won the title in 2017, started the stage 8’20” shy of race leader Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo).
McEwen had earlier called the stage a “free-for-all”, branding it "chaos , chaos, chaos!”
“An absolute nightmare for the non-climbers – this is the worst possible scenario if you are a sprinter or a non-climber. It is the day from hell," he continued.
“And at the front of the race, it is an absolute free-for-all. It is as if the peloton don’t see a clear leader on the general classification; everything is so open and they see the perfect opportunity for a breakaway, as long as you can get the right combination. But it is like a combination lock with infinite possibilities because everyone is going and everyone is getting brought back.
“It is fascinating to watch and, at some points, frustrating. It must be frustrating for the riders – you think you are gone and you think you have got away and then someone accelerates and brings it all back together.”
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