The Shot: Dumoulin’s delight at the Duomo

2017 100th edition Giro, stage 21, 29.3km time trial

The 100th Giro d’Italia finale was an individual time trial starting on the auto racing track in Monza. It navigated Milan’s outer environs, before reaching the pulsing heart of central Milano, the Piazza del Duomo. On any normal ITT, we aim to cover it from start to finish: showcasing the teams in warm-up mode, the fans, the start house backdrop, the aero action on the course — and if we can swing it — the arrival at the line with all its bittersweet sweat and tears and very rare moments of glory. However, this time trial would be different from the norm. The overall was too close to call. Four riders were within one minute of each other, a time trial specialist was poised to take back the jersey, plus there was that magnificent backdrop of the gothic cathedral.

We discussed several options for how best to shoot the TT, keeping in mind the usual chaos of entering a large city during the Giro. We knew imagery from the Milano finish would far surpass any from the autodrome start.

As expected, the finish and staging area was fairly challenging to navigate. We also had a sudden heat wave to contend with. The actual finish line in the piazza was lined with large paving stones. It got so hot, it felt as though you were sitting on a flattop grill. Bright sun reflected on the stone pavement, causing a lot of blow-out for good exposure. Capturing the whole Duomo in the shot with the riders coming through the line at high speed was not without obstacles. Luckily both Jim and I were on-site at the finish line. I was able to dedicate myself to the classic “Duomo shot” while he shot on the super telephoto.

We also had several hours to play around with slightly different angles, slow shutter exposures, low angle, before the top-20 riders came through. Of course, you also couldn’t predict what line they would take through the finish as some came too close and others too far, making the framing vary. I tried the 20-70mm which was solid but not perfect. A 15mm wide-angle was more distorted and dwarfed the riders and the cathedral. In the end, I managed a sufficient low angle that captured most of the Duomo, the finish line truss, fans’ arms hanging over the barriers, and a clear blue sky. Once or twice, a flurry of pigeons crossed the sky, but that would be pure luck if they took flight during the winner’s finish.

We were lucky enough to collaborate with other photographers who went to the start as well but we were most pleased with our final shots of the Giro coming to a close with an iconic shot of a historic moment.

Key image specs:

Canon 1DX
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L IS II USM
1/1000 sec @ f/7.1 ISO 400
Focal Length: 24mm
File format: RAW

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VN podcast, ep. 31: Did Dumoulin win… Or did Nairo lose?

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

Did Tom Dumoulin win the Giro or did Nairo Quintana lose it? Fred Dreier, Caley Fretz, and Spencer Powlison dissect the Italian grand tour then look ahead to the weird and wacky Hammer Series, which sets off this weekend, and to the Criterium du Dauphine, one of the final tests before the Tour de France. Plus: How would a Cat. 3 tackle the Hammer series? Tune in to find out.

Plus, you can WIN a free Powertap! Just head to, sign up, and you’re automatically entered. Contest runs through June 14th.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and Fretz.

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Dumoulin’s grand tour stock skyrockets after Giro win: Movistar boss

FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Tom Dumoulin’s status changed. The Dutchman of team Sunweb, winner of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, is now a favorite for any grand tour, says team Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué.

Dumoulin rode consistently throughout the Italian grand tour and overhauled Movistar’s star Nairo Quintana in the stage 21 time trial to Milan. In a sizzling Piazza del Duomo, the 26-year-old received the spiral trophy. To Unzué, that signaled the arrival of a new era.

“He progressed hugely. Probably his body is developing and he’s maturing,” Unzué said. “He’ll now be a favorite in any grand tour.”

Dumoulin placed second in the time trial but finished the Giro 31 ticks ahead of Quintana in the 3,609.1-kilometer race to win the pink jersey.

He became the first Dutchman to earn a grand tour victory since Joop Zoetemelk (1980 Tour de France), and the first to win the Giro in its 100-year history.

Unzué believes Dumoulin is opening a new grand tour chapter along with Quintana, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

“More than improving, he needs to consolidate this consistency. The rest, he does well, he climbs and he time trials like no one else. At 26 years old, he is one of those cyclists,” Unzué said.

“Dumoulin won this one and he could’ve won the Vuelta a España two years ago, just losing it in the last 24 hours.

“In the Giro, he had luck in a couple of complicated moments, but for sure, he had a big Giro. He benefited from his time trial strength to make the differences and then in the climbs, you see he made big strides.”

Dumoulin stumbled into the role of grand tour leader in 2015, when midway through the Vuelta he and the team saw he had a chance of winning. In 2016, they focused only on stage wins — he won one in the Giro and two in the Tour — and the Olympic time trial — he placed second behind Fabian Cancellara.

He will race in the Tour de Suisse in June and back off before building again for the Vuelta. Next year, he could take his first stab at the Tour’s yellow jersey and Chris Froome’s reign.

“He’s in that style of Bradley Wiggins, but as a climber, he’s even more complete,” continued Unzué. “Also in the style of Miguel [Indurain], who made big differences in the time trials and after, managed himself on the summit finishes.”

Unzué managed Indurain to five Tour de France titles from 1991 to 1995. He now looks over Quintana, who this year tried for the Giro-Tour double. The Colombian will use June to rest and recalibrate, and will not race until the Tour kicks off in Düsseldorf on July 1.

“For sure, he wasn’t the same complete and brilliant Nairo that we’ve seen. But in one way or another, he was there with the favorites every day. Through the final day, riding in the pink jersey,” said Unzué.

“We did what we did to be here in top condition. In the days remaining, he’ll work off this base. The Giro was the perfect base for the Tour.”

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Giro Photo Essay: Fight for pink in fearsome final week

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Nibali, Quintana tip hats to new Giro king Dumoulin

MILAN (AFP) — Colombia’s Nairo Quintana and Italian Vincenzo Nibali tipped their hats to rival Tom Dumoulin after he raced to a sensational, final-day victory to make history as the first Dutch winner of the 100th Giro d’Italia Sunday.

Dumoulin, the Olympic time trial silver medalist in Rio, trailed 2014 champion Quintana by 53 seconds after both he and Nibali turned the screws on a final, thrilling day in the mountains on Saturday won by Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).

But with a 29.3km time trial set to decide the race, Dumoulin — who beat Quintana by nearly three minutes in a longer, hillier race against the clock on stage 10 — seized the day.

Although finishing 15 seconds behind compatriot and close friend Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) in front of thousands of waving fans at Milan’s landmark Duomo cathedral, the flying Dutchman did enough on the 21st and final stage to claim his maiden grand tour triumph.

Quintana finished 1:39 behind van Emden, ending up in second overall, 31 seconds behind. He said he could have no complaints.

“I’m not disappointed at all really,” said the Colombian. “I don’t know if I could have done something better or worse during the Giro, but with Tom Dumoulin being so strong in the time trial, I think I deserve to be where I am.”

A two-time runner-up at the Tour de France, Quintana will now target the world’s most famous bike race in July, adding: “As usual, I’ll be going there to give it my all and try to win it.”

Nibali, who finished a disappointing 13th on the stage at 1:09 behind van Emden to finish third overall at 40 seconds behind, became a key ally of Quintana’s in the mountains as they both tried to shake off the stubborn Dutchman in the final week.

But despite Dumoulin suffering “bad legs” on stage 19 to hand the pink jersey to Quintana, he would soon take it back after Nibali and Quintana’s combined efforts on Saturday ultimately failed.

Energy spent

“I couldn’t do any more than this, my energy was spent,” said Nibali, the 2015 Tour de France champion who won the race in 2013 and 2016.

Nibali, though, claimed the inclusion of two time trials in the 100th edition — totaling 69.1 km — had favored Dumoulin.

“It was the time trials that really tipped the balance in this Giro,” added the Italian, who won a thrilling stage 16 into Bormio in which Dumoulin was forced to chase frantically over the last climb of the Stelvio after suffering an embarrassing, unscheduled toilet stop.

Dumoulin, who wore the pink jersey on his maiden Giro d’Italia last year after winning the opening stage time trial in his native Apeldoorn, saw his hopes take flight with his 10th stage time trial victory in Montefalco.

A day after Quintana had taken the pink jersey with a great win atop Blockhaus, the Colombian tumbled to second overall at nearly three minutes behind — and Dumoulin’s dream began to take shape.

“It was only stage 9, the Giro had really just started, but Quintana showed he was very strong,” Dumoulin said Sunday. “I started to think about the podium then, but I didn’t really think about going for overall victory.”

Veteran teammate Laurens ten Dam, however, revealed their victory ambitions started months ago.

“I was in the U.S. in the winter and I saw the Giro course, and I was immediately texting with Tom about time trials, and I said, ‘You have to do the Giro’,” said Ten Dam.

“Then I was beginning to doubt because every week there was another contender, Quintana was going to do it, Nibali, Aru all those guys. I thought maybe it was better to do the Tour de France.

“In the end we had a big discussion and we said that we have to go for it to try for the GC first time.

“He impressed me so much in the mountains this year.”

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