The contest for the Maglia Rosa began in stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia on the last climb, with attacks from the general classification favourites flooding in by the dozen.
After being distanced by Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Thibaut Pinot, Tom Dumoulin lead the charge to chase the move. As the gradient intensified, Dumoulin’s group began to organise and set up work to limit losses. The gap between Dumoulin’s closest rivals fluctuated between 7 to 27 seconds on the climb, but on the plateau to the finish the Dutch time trial champion rebounded from a tough climb and limited his losses to just 15 seconds. The Sunweb rider now stands fourth overall, 53 seconds down on pink ahead of tomorrow’s final time trial in Milan.
“Finally the climbs are gone. I was very happy that I had better legs and I had a good day again. I’m forever grateful for the help in the final from Mollema, Jungels and Yates.
“I’m proud of how I rode today, I feel mentally and physically much better than I did yesterday which is good. I need a really good day tomorrow to get that gap, it’s not going to be differences like in the last time trial because I’m really tired after this week in the mountains. It’s going to be tight with five of us so close but I will just focus on my own ride and see what happens.”