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Giro d’Italia Stage 14: Tom Dumoulin dominates rivals to extend overall lead

Dutch rider kept his cool as Nairo Quintana attacked on the Oropa – then rode away to win

 

Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin has stretched his overall lead at the Giro d’Italia to 2 minutes 47 seconds after keeping his cool when Movistar’s Nairo Quintana attacked on the closing climb of today’s Stage 14, the Dutchman reeling in his rival then riding away to win his second stage of this year’s 100th edition of the race.

He becomes the fifth rider – and the first from outside Italy – to win on the Oropa, with past victors including Marco Pantani in 1999 and in whose memory the climb was designated this year’s Montagna Pantani.

Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin was second, 3 seconds behind Dumoulin who put in a storming final surge to the line, with Mikel Landa of Team Sky third, a further 6 seconds back.

But with Dumoulin also taking 10 bonus seconds, it will be the riders occupying the three positions behind him on GC who will have most to rue following the 131-kilometre stage from Castellania, birthplace of the great Fausto Coppi and whose grave this year's race leader visited this morning.

There had already been a series of attacks from the group containing the overall contenders when, with 4 kilometres remaining, Quintana and Zakarin followed a move from AG2R-La Mondiale’s Domenico Pozzovivo, with the Italian soon dropped.

Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo, third overall this morning, had already been dropped and next to crack was FDJ’s Thibaud Pinot, who began the day fourth on GC and remains in the same position after the stage.

Entering the final 3 kilometres of the 11-kilometre climb to the Sanctuary of Oropa, Quintana was on his own with a gap of around 10 seconds, but Dumoulin, riding at the front of a group that included defending champion Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida, refused to buckle and began reeling in the Colombian.

As Dumoulin caught him, Nibali lost contact with the group, and including the time bonus, he would lose almost a minute to the Dutch rider, while 2014 champion Quintana dropped 23 seconds.

With some big mountain stages coming after Monday’s rest day, there is plenty of racing left – but if anyone does manage to take the maglia rosa off Dumoulin by next Saturday, he’ll need to ensure they do so with enough margin to prevent him taking it back on the closing day’s time trial and become the first ever Dutch winner of the race.

Following the stage, he said: “I knew Quintana would attack and I was dreaming of hitting back but I didn’t think this would happen.

It was hard when Quintana rode away. I couldn’t follow him so I took my own pace. Then I came closer and closer.

"When Zakarin accelerated I only thought of gaining time on Nibali, Pinot and Mollema.

"I have a big advantage to take into the last week. We’ll see if it’s enough.

"This stage suited me but the last week will be different with a lot of climbing. We’re still far from Milan.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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