The Giro is not over! General classification for the maglia rosa has been playing musical chairs. Team Sky’s misfortunes at the Giro weren’t ended with yet another crash today, but were vindicated by a phenomenal performance by Geraint Thomas. But it was Tom Dumoulin who had a masterful ride that won him the stage and took the pink jersey off Nairo Quintana‘s shoulders. Bob Jungels re-joined the top 10 and re-established his maglia bianca credentials. Vincenzo Nibali loses time, but not position.
Rider of the Race
Although the course itself was not particularly technical, a couple of sharp and dusty corners proved tricky in, well, staying up! Impressive ride by Vasil Kiryienka: after crashing on the penultimate corner, he lost 20 to 25 seconds on the floor and more in regaining speed, but he still managed a 5th place.
Geraint Thomas had a spirited ride, eager to get something out of this Giro and was very close to the win. He turned Sky’s fortune around and blasted around the course, perhaps fired by anger at the unfair shenanigans of moto parking en route.
But it is Tom Dumoulin who earns my Rider of the Race. He had a majestic ride and took the lead in the GC. He dominated the stage and put enough time to set up a very possible overall win at the 100th Giro d’Italia (yes, really!). His face at the line betrayed a mixture of pain, joy… and the realisation that he will be a marked man for the next two weeks. Needless to say his team were happy!
We might have witnessed one time trial but there were two races. One was for the day’s glory, one was with an eye on the next two weeks and the podium. On this occasion, they overlapped as some riders had the opportunity to win in both camps. Nairo Quintana might be able to pull away on the steepest climbs in the stages to come but he also has to manage the losses in a TT like today’s, while thinking of the TT on the last stage in Milan. The cross and head winds, more than the undulations, were critical and the bigger riders had a clear advantage (even more than usual). Dumoulin now has Pink Power on his shoulders and like Steven Kruijswijk (almost) proved last year, it is magical. Potentially, Tom could gain another 90 seconds on Quintana in the last stage’s TT, giving himself almost 4 minutes to play with in the mountains.
P.S. Not sure lights were incredibly useful in a Grand Tour:
1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 50:37
2 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:49
3 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) +0:56
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) +1:40
5 Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) +2.00
GC Top 5
1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 42:57:16
2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:23
3 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:38
4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +2.47
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
Points jersey: Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Jan Polanc (UAE-Emirates)
Best young rider: Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News