The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, carrying the tagline “Amore Infinito” (endless love), crowned a Dutchman for the first time ever as Tom Dumoulin outclassed Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Thibaut Pinot who ended up ranked in that order after the thrilling individual time trial from Monza to Milan. Today’s final stage was also won by a Dutchman: Jos van Emden.
The Maglia Rosa, winner of the 100th Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin said: “When I crossed the finish line, everyone congratulated me. I was celebrating my victory but in the tent, I saw there were only three seconds difference between Nairo Quintana and myself. I became angry with everyone who congratulated me. I was super nervous. I’ve had the most nervous moments of my whole life.
“You’re never sure of winning, you always doubt. I think everybody does. I wasn’t really nervous at breakfast. I was happy with my night before this time trial considering the stress. The recce was good, I had a mattress to relax on at the back of the bus. At lunch I was nervous, my metabolism was really high in the bus. But I could always stay focused. I’ve done a lot of TTs under pressure before. That experience paid a lot today.
“I’m not the first TT rider who can do well in the mountains. Miguel Indurain is five steps ahead of me. There are guys like Bradley Wiggins, but I don’t want to compare myself to anyone. It’s just an amazing day. I’m really happy. I was never a bad climber. I always had that in me. I never trained in the hills really when I was young. There are no long climbs around Maastricht. But now I do more training camps in the mountains, in Tenerife and Sierra Nevada. I’ve also made a switch mentally. I suffer more now. I didn’t lose much weight, I’m maybe two kilos lighter than I was three years ago.
“The hardest stage of the Giro was three days ago when they attacked me in downhill. After the intestinal troubles I had, I knew I would have some food problems. The good thing is that on a bad day like that I lost only one minute. I had the experience of losing much more at the Vuelta. I stayed calm and I limited the losses this time.
Everything was very quick after the finish so I can’t realize what’s happening in the Netherlands now, but I will always stay the same person. Maybe people will approach me differently, but I really hope I can walk around in Maastricht without being treated like a superhero. I can ride my bike fast but I also want to keep having a normal life. It’s amazing when you see all the names on the [endless] trophy. It’s an honor to be part of this long list of champions.
I don’t feel myself like a champion, but I almost feel like it when I see my name on the trophy. It’s very special. Jan Janssen was the first Dutchman to win the Tour and the Vuelta, I’m the first Dutchman to win the Giro. I hope for more in the future but for now I’m just happy to be here. The Giro victory is not going to change my whole life. I hope to stay the same person with the same character. I won a very special race.
“I didn’t really have childhood heroes. I was around 15 years old when I started to ride and follow cycling. Michael Boogerd was big in the Netherlands at that time, so when I went watching our home race, the Amstel Gold Race with parents, we were cheering for guys like Boogerd.”
Today’s stage winner Jos van Emden said: “An overall win is much bigger but for me it’s great to win this stage at the Giro. Last year I was riding for the Maglia Rosa in the Netherlands and I had some bad luck but if I didn’t crash, I would have been on 4th or 5th place. This time I had more power in the legs. It’s the biggest achievement in my career. It’s a big day for Dutch cycling. It’s the first time in history that a Dutchman has won the Giro. I’m happy to be part of this special day. I love Italy, I love the Giro, I’ve done six of them, I’ve even had the Maglia Nera but I’m not a specialist in being last in the Giro! I’ve also come 5th here in a time trial.
“I had in my mind a list of about five guys who could win this time trial today. Three of them were starting around me and they were slower. I thought maybe Bob Jungels could beat me but the main competitor was Tom [Dumoulin]. By now I’m experienced in waiting on the hot seat. My blood was cooking today. The disappointment of losing a time trial at the very end of the race is big but the joy of winning it is even bigger.
“I think I’ve known Tom for six years. We live 10km from each other, I live in Veldwezelt, Belgium, just across the border. There’s no competition between us. Six weeks ago, I became a father. I’ve seen my son Bram only two weeks before coming to the Giro but I found a small Maglia Rosa that I sent home. Last night I sent picture of my son dressed in pink to Tom, saying ‘my home is also cheering for you’. He gets thousands of messages but he replied to me straight away, saying ‘I hope to be with you on the podium tomorrow’. I appreciated that he kept in mind my little piece of the cake. He made big steps as a climber. It’s a real big achievement, from TT specialist to Grand Tour winner. The work he’s done is awesome.”
- Tom Dumoulin is the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia, 50 years after Jan Janssen became the first Dutchman to win a Grand Tour: the 1967 Vuelta a España (an 18-stage race from April 27 to May 14). Now riders from 13 different nations have won the Giro. This is the fifth overall win in a Grand Tour by a Dutch rider after Jan Janssen who also won the 1968 Tour de France and Joop Zoetemelk who won both the 1979 Vuelta a España and the 1980 Tour de France. Erik Breukink was the only Dutchman to have reached the final podium of the Giro previously, taking 3rd in 1987 and 2nd in 1988
- It’s the third time, the Maglia Rosa has changed hands on the last stage after Francesco Moser dethroned Laurent Fignon in 1984 and Ryder Hesjedal overturned Joaquim Rodriguez in 2012. In 1976, there was also a change of leader on the final day with Felice Gimondi taking over from Johan de Muynck in a time trial but that was a morning stage before the final stage later the same day
- This is the second tightest podium ever: just 40 seconds between the winner and the rider who came third. In 1974, the final result was: 1. Eddy Merckx, 2. Gianbattista Baronchelli at 12 seconds, 3. Felice Gimondi at 33 seconds
- It’s the fifth Giro final podium for Vincenzo Nibali in seven years: two victories (2013, 2016), one second place (2011) and two third places (2010, 2017). It’s his ninth podium in a Grand Tour
- Jos van Emden won his first Grand Tour stage in Milan, recording the fifth fastest time trial in the history of the Giro (53.058km/h). The record remains the 2001 prologue: 58.874km/h by Rik Verbrugghe
1 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
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”
- Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)
- Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
- Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky)
- Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
1 – Jos van Emden (Team Lotto NL – Jumbo) – 29.3km in 33’08”, average speed 53.058km/h
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 15″
3 – Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team) at 27″