There is rarely a quiet moment on the Giro d’Italia, as Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) knows better than most. The defending champion and the general classification contenders might have hoped for a low-key outing as they resumed their duties after the rest day. Instead, they found themselves in a whole-hearted contest from gun to tape on the race’s longest stage from Penne to Gualdo Tadino.
The day’s headline will inevitably be the 25 minutes lost by Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) after he was inexplicably distanced on the opening climb, the category 2 Fonte della Creta. In the grand scheme of things, Dumoulin will be relieved that his travails can be written up as a footnote to a breathless 239 kilometres as the corsa rosa moved northwards from Abruzzo to Umbria.
Dumoulin was a faller on the rain-soaked descent from the day’s final climb to Annifo, and later had to pause for a bike change, but he succeeded in quickly bridging back up to the pink jersey group, thanks in no small part to the help of the impressive Sam Oomen.
“The first guy in the group made a wrong estimation on that corner, and we went into it with too much speed, everyone braked, and I was too late and crashed,” Dumoulin said.
Although Dumoulin’s left leg was muddied and bloodied from the fall, he showed no ill effects as he warmed down on his turbo trainer outside the Sunweb bus after the stage. “I will take a shower, and when the dust has settled I’m sure it will hurt,” he said. “At the moment I look to be OK, tomorrow we will see how it is.”
Chaves and Yates
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