Dumoulin enjoys a day in pink

Tom Dumoulin's stage 1 victory earned him a day in the pink jersey in front of an excited home crowd, and he'll wear it again Sunday too

NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands (VN) — Tom Dumoulin’s day in the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey will not be forgotten soon. Team Giant-Alpecin’s star is now the first Dutchman to wear the leader’s jersey of the Vuelta a España and of the Giro d’Italia.

Along the way from Arnhem to Nijmegen Saturday, he says he turned down a marriage proposal.

Dumoulin won the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia on Friday. Today, the Maastricht native wore the famed maglia rosa over the 190 kilometers in stage two.

“The thing that stuck out today was when I saw a woman with a sign asking me to marry her,” Dumoulin said post-stage speaking to press.

“One sign said, ‘Tom, will you marry me!’ But I will not. It was not my girlfriend asking. I expect that my girlfriend thinks it would be me asking her that question. I don’t want to know who was asking!”

Dumoulin, who often has a smile on his face, grew up in Maastricht and first saw professional cycling when he watched the Amstel Gold Race pass by his front door. He now lives, with his girlfriend, on the event’s famed finishing climb, the Cauberg.

His days in the pink jersey and the craziness that comes along with it could end soon. Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step) is one second away from the GC lead, having picked up bonus seconds by winning Saturday’s stage 2.

Dumoulin also wore the red jersey in the 2015 Vuelta a España for six days. He surprised followers by nearly winning the overall. Only on the final mountain day did his climbing legs fail him under the pressure of Italian Fabio Aru.

“All three jerseys have a special place in cycling, especially the yellow and pink jersey go way back, the color has been the same since the beginning,” Dumoulin said. “It’s just special to win the jersey and wear it.”

If Kittel wins the third stage tomorrow in Arnhem, or places second or third, he will earn enough time to take the pink jersey. Dumoulin knows Kittel well. The two raced together four years in the various incarnations of Giant-Alpecin before Kittel left for Etixx.

“If someone else has to take over the pink jersey then please let it be Marcel,” Dumoulin said. “We’ve always liked Marcel as a person and as a captain in the team. Now he’s in another team, but he’s still a friend to everyone.”