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  7. 2017 Giro d’Italia, stage 21

2017 Giro d'Italia

STAGE 21: Monza to Milano

The individual time trial is perfectly flat (or very slightly downhill) and runs along the boulevards in Monza and Milan after the start in Monza Motor Racing Track (one complete lap is raced). A “classic” finale in the city where the Giro d’Italia was born with the finish line in Piazza Duomo.

Stage 21: Tom Dumoulin delivers in decisive TT

Tom Dumoulin
Tom Dumoulin won the Giro d’Italia with a brilliant performance in the final time trial. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

MILAN (AFP) — Tom Dumoulin won the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia in sensational style on Sunday to make history as the first Dutch winner of the three-week Italian race.

“This is a dream come true,” said Dumoulin. “When I crossed the line, they said, ‘You won! You won!’ Then it was only three seconds. I was freaking out. It was incredible.”

Stage 21, top 10

  • 1. Jos VAN EMDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, in 33:08
  • 2. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :15
  • 3. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :27
  • 4. Vasil KIRYIENKA, TEAM SKY, at :31
  • 5. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at :35
  • 6. Jan BÁRTA, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :39
  • 7. Georg PREIDLER, TEAM SUNWEB, at :51
  • 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :54
  • 9. Jan TRATNIK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :57
  • 10. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:02

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 90:34:54
  • 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :31
  • 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :40
  • 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 1:17
  • 5. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 1:56
  • 6. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:11
  • 7. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:41
  • 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 7:04
  • 9. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at 8:10
  • 10. Davide FORMOLO, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 15:17

Dumoulin went into the final stage, a 29.3km time trial from Monza race track to Milan’s famous Duomo cathedral, 53 seconds behind overnight leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

“I could not have imagined this, never,” Dumoulin added. “I was strong, I was lucky, everything fell into the place during the Giro. Nairo [Quintana] did an amazing ride today. I won it, it’s incredible. I was feeling good, but halfway through, in my earpiece, they said, don’t take risks anymore, and I thought, OK, I must be winning. They should never do that again, because when I crossed the line, it was still so close.”

But the 26-year-old Dutchman, who led the race for nine stage before losing the pink jersey to Quintana on stage 19, secured his maiden grand tour victory after a second-place finish behind stage winner Jan van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). Italian Manuel Quinziato (BMC) was third on the stage.

Quintana, of the Movistar team, finished second in the final general classification, 31 seconds behind. Italy’s two-time champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished third, 40 seconds behind.

It means Quintana, a former two-time runner-up at the Tour de France, has failed in his bid — stated before the race start in Alghero, Sardinia — to challenge for a rare Giro-Tour de France double.

Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who remained in contention for overall victory with a gutsy stage win on Saturday, disappointed in the race against the clock to finish fourth overall at 1 minutes, 17 seconds.

Dumoulin, who finished 17 seconds behind Van Emden, had to watch nervously as Quintana, wearing the pink jersey and the last to start, completed the final kilometers of his effort into Milan.

But when the calculations showed the Colombian was set to fall short, he jumped for joy.

“It’s crazy, I don’t know what to say,” said Dumoulin, who was initially given a taste for the pink jersey when he wore it for the first time in Apeldoorn last year after victory in the opening stage time trial.

“We worked hard, in a good way, but you can’t always get what you aim for in a bike race,” Quintana added. “Tom was very strong, and we are still on the podium, and that is still important – I could have done better in the mountains, and we knew that we needed to take more time on him against the clock. It’s hard for me against a specialist like Tom.”

Thanks to a Dutch one-two on the stage finish, Van Emden gave the Netherlands a double reason for celebration when he claimed his maiden grand tour stage win with a sensational ride into the Lombardy capital.

“I’m so happy, so emotional,” said Van Emden, who described Dumoulin as a “close friend”.

“I was too many times second and this is a great day for Dutch cycling.

“Tom wins, I win, finally. There are two really happy people inside this tent.”

Andrew Hood contributed to this report.