Dumoulin dominates ‘wine trial’ to take Giro d’Italia lead
MONTEFALCO, Italy (AP) — Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin dominated an individual time trial through Umbria’s winemaking region to take the pink jersey after the 10th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday.
Dumoulin, who also won time trials in last year’s Giro and Tour de France, set the pace on the 40-kilometer (25-mile) route from Foligno to Montefalco, where Sagrantino wine is produced.
Geraint Thomas of Britain finished second, 49 seconds behind, and former overall leader Bob Jungels of Luxembourg was third, 56 seconds back.
Previous leader Nairo Quintana struggled as expected and finished nearly three minutes behind Dumoulin.
In the overall standings, Dumoulin leads Quintana by 2:23, and Bauke Mollema was third, 2:38 behind.
Thibaut Pinot of France was fourth and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali fifth.
Thomas, who was slowed by a crash in the previous stage, trails by 5 1/2 minutes.
“It’s a nice gap to go into the mountains,” said Dumoulin, who rides for Team Sunweb. “But like Quintana showed on Blockhaus (Sunday’s stage) he’s the better climber so a lot can happen in the mountains. But if I go home now it was already a successful Giro.”
Dumoulin spent six days in pink after winning the opening stage last year.
“It’s no coincidence anymore,” he said. “I can really fight with the best and it’s a good feeling.”
Still, Dumoulin is not considered a pure climber and could struggle next week in the Alps.
“It will be really, really hard,” he said.
The small and compact Quintana won the 2014 Giro and was twice runner-up on the Tour. The Colombian struggles for power on time trials, and was content to go minutes down knowing what’s ahead.
“It was a bit worse than I expected,” Quintana said. “Dumoulin is a specialist but he showed that he’s really strong. He could be my principal rival considering the form that he’s in. But we’ll find a strategy to regain the pink jersey.”
True to his “butterfly” nickname, Dumoulin proved light and aerodynamic while crouching over his handlebars along the undulating route beside vineyards.
It was the third year that a so-called “wine trial” was featured in the Giro, after a 2015 time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo celebrated Piedmont’s top varieties, and a rainy leg last year from Radda to Greve in Chianti traversed the region of Tuscan reds.
Vasil Kiryienka, Thomas’ teammate at Sky, placed fifth in the stage despite crashing while going around a corner.
Stage 11 on Wednesday is a 161-kilometer (100-mile) leg from Florence to Bagno Di Romagna that includes four climbs while traversing the Apennine Range.
The 100th Giro ends in Milan on May 28.
This story has been corrected to fix Jungels’ nationality to Luxembourg.