Two-time champion Vincenzo Nibali joined fellow rivals in wishing another “bad legs” day on Giro d’Italia hopeful Tom Dumoulin when yesterday’s time-trial brought a dramatic end to the 100th edition.
A day after losing the pink jersey to Colombia’s 2014 champion Nairo Quintana due to “bad legs” on an epic day of climbing through the Dolomites in Italy, Team Sunweb leader Dumoulin was in far better form on Saturday.
Repelling a series of attacks by Nibali of the Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team, and race leader Quintana of Movistar Team and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot of Team Francaise des Jeux during a tense finale to the 20th stage, Dumoulin came over the finish of the 190km ride from Pordenone to Asiago only 15 seconds in arrears to his victory rivals.
Quintana, the 2014 champion, now leads 2013 and last year’s winner Nibali by 39 seconds, with Giro debutant Pinot third overall at 43 and Dumoulin fourth at 53.
Given his crushing time trial victory on stage 10, Dumoulin remains firmly in contention to become the first Dutch winner of the three-week race.
However, Nibali is hoping their collaborative efforts at dropping Dumoulin take their toll.
“For sure, Dumoulin also had to work hard today,” Nibali said. “It wasn’t easy by a long shot. On the climb over [the Monte] Grappa we really gave it everything, trying to tire Dumoulin out.”
“Then on the Foza [climb] I immediately turned the screw, although I was afraid for how well Quintana was going,” Nibali added.
Nibali’s collaboration with Quintana and Pinot in the final kilometers of the Foza climb, and the 15km rolling stretch to Asiago, ultimately handed the Frenchman his maiden Giro stage win.
However, it kept Dumoulin on his toes, and Quintana — on paper a far weaker time trialist than the Olympic silver medalist from Rio de Janerio, Brazil — is not ready to capitulate.
“It might not be enough, but it might just be,” the diminutive climber said when asked about his cushion over Dumoulin.
“We all finished the stage very tired. Now, we have to wait till tomorrow to see how the legs are. All I can do is give it my best. My head tells me we [Movistar] can still win, but we can also lose,” Dumoulin said.
After claiming a well-deserved maiden Giro win, Pinot said: “For me, Tom Dumoulin is still the favorite to win [the race] tomorrow.”
However, he is also hoping for some last-day drama.
Recalling Quintana’s time trial performance at the Route du Sud race in France, he said: “Quintana is not too shabby in the time trial, I remember him beating Chavanel at the Route du Sud.”
“Dumoulin is just 10 seconds behind him, I hope to be on the podium and for the overall win, we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “At this point, no one can say who will win the Giro tomorrow. It’s going to be a real thriller.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very