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Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) isn’t one for sugarcoating things.
The Dutch time trial ace was characteristically blunt when describing a result that “only” left him with third in stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday.
“It went alright but obviously I wasn’t good enough,” a dejected Dumoulin told reporters at the line.
“I had power, but I lost it a little bit on the last climb I think. I blew myself up, but that’s a risk you have to take.”
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Former TT world champion and Olympic silver medalist Dumoulin set a scorching time in the tight and technical Budapest test on Saturday, and briefly held the fastest time.
No sooner had he rested himself into the “hot seat” than eventual stage-winner Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and then pink jersey Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) shaved seconds off Dumoulin’s time to take the top-two steps from under his nose.
“Disappointment? Of course, I was going for the win today and I didn’t succeed,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but like I said, I felt good and strong, but not strong enough for the win.”
Like Dumoulin said, it’s not all bad.
The former Giro champion warned earlier in the week that he was undercooked after a spring campaign riddled with setbacks.
However, a strong ride in the uphill sprint Friday put Dumoulin on par with his classification rivals, and Saturday’s podium finish leaves him third overall, 11 seconds down on hot-favorite Yates and more than 10 seconds up on the rest of the GC pack.
The next big GC sort-out will come after the race transfers to Sicily for a grinding summit finish atop Etna on Tuesday’s Stage 4.
Dumoulin finished level on time with A-star contender Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and 26 seconds behind Yates when the Giro rumbled up the hulking volcano in 2018. Dumoulin went on to finish second overall that year, undone only by Chris Froome’s historic ride through the Alps.
He may be disappointed, but with Jumbo-Visma co-captains Tobias Foss and Sam Oomen sitting seventh and 27th overall and still well in the frame, the Giro is perfectly poised for Dumoulin.
Etna will show how far the returning star might be able to go in this 2022 Giro.