Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb increased his overall lead of the Giro d’Italia as he won a tough uphill finish at Stage14 overnight. Picking up 10 bonus seconds for his efforts, he is now 2′ 47″ ahead of 2nd-placed Nairo Quintana.
After a thrilling battle with Quintana on the final climb, Dumoulin virtually time trialled his way to the finish – beating Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin),Team Sky’s Mikel Landa and Quintana (Movistar), who finished 4th.
Dumoulin said when he caught Quintana he decided to take as much time as possible on those who hadn’t followed.
“Luckily I enough energy left for the sprint. When Zakarin accelerated, I heard via radio that Quintana was dropped but I’d go full gas till the line anyway,” he said.
“The stage win is the most important thing today. That won’t be taken away from me anymore. I’ve learned from the Vuelta two years ago that a Grand Tour is not over until the last day,” Dumoulin continued.
Well aware of the huge challenge ahead, particularly with such epic climbs as Stage 16’s double ascent of the Stelvio, Dumoulin remains realistic about the days to come.
“Losing close to the end could happen to me again,” he said.
“Especially because we haven’t done half of the kilometres of climbing yet. Quintana and Nibali are usually very strong in the third week, so it’s far from over.”
Stage 14 Podium
1 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) – 131km in 3h02’34”, average speed 43.052km/h
2 – Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 3″
3 – Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky) at 9″