Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Dumoulin takes pink jersey with time trial stage win

AP, MONTEFALCO, Italy

Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin on Tuesday dominated an individual time trial through Umbria’s wine-making region to take the pink jersey after the 10th stage of the Giro d’Italia.

Dumoulin, who also won time trials in last year’s Giro and Tour de France, set the pace on the 40km route from Foligno to Montefalco, where Sagrantino wine is produced.

Geraint Thomas of Britain finished second, 49 seconds behind, and former overall leader Bob Jungels of Luxembourg was third, 56 seconds back.

Previous leader Nairo Quintana struggled as expected and finished nearly three minutes behind Dumoulin.

In the overall standings, Dumoulin leads Quintana by 2 minutes, 23 seconds, with Bauke Mollema third 2 minues, 38 seconds behind. Thibaut Pinot of France was fourth and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali fifth.

Thomas, who was slowed by a crash in the previous stage, trails by five-and-a-half minutes.

“It’s a nice gap to go into the mountains,” said Dumoulin, who rides for Team Sunweb. “But like Quintana showed on Blockhaus [Sunday’s stage], he’s the better climber, so a lot can happen in the mountains. But if I go home now it was already a successful Giro.”

Dumoulin spent six days in pink after winning the opening stage last year.

“It’s no coincidence anymore,” he said. “I can really fight with the best and it’s a good feeling.”

Still, Dumoulin is not considered a pure climber and could struggle next week in the Alps.

Small and compact Quintana won the 2014 Giro and was twice runner-up on the Tour. The Colombian struggles for power on time trials, and was content to go minutes down knowing what is ahead.

“It was a bit worse than I expected,” Quintana said. “Dumoulin is a specialist, but he showed that he’s really strong. He could be my principal rival considering the form that he’s in, but we’ll find a strategy to regain the pink jersey.”

True to his “butterfly” nickname, Dumoulin proved light and aerodynamic while crouching over his handlebars along the undulating route beside vineyards.

It was the third year that a so-called “wine trial” was featured in the Giro, after a 2015 time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo celebrated Piedmont’s top varieties, and a rainy leg last year from Radda to Greve in Chianti traversed the region of Tuscan reds.

Vasil Kiryienka, Thomas’ teammate at Sky, placed fifth in the stage, despite crashing while going around a corner.

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