Tom Dumoulin dug deep on the second of two summit finishes this weekend, finishing the day in 8th place and moving to 3rd overall at 38 seconds behind the race lead.
The last stage ahead of the second rest day tomorrow, stage nine of the Giro d’Italia featured another challenging summit finish with almost the entire final 50 kilometres of racing uphill. 14 riders jumped clear of the bunch in the early kilometres, opening up an eight minute lead over the peloton. It looked like the remaining rider from the break would take the stage honours, but with three kilometres to go he was caught just in time for the battle amongst the GC men to begin.
As soon as the race came back together, counter attacks were immediately launched. All moves were neutralised until the final kilometre when accelerations caused gaps to open which proved tough to close. Tom Dumoulin finishes the day 12 seconds down on the stage winner and now sits 3rd overall ahead of tomorrow’s rest day.
Tom said: ‘Today was a tough day, with the distance and this final climb. I knew that at this altitude I shouldn’t follow each attack, so I closed them at my own pace. I have a good GC position and I’m satisfied with the form. At this moment in the race there are a few guys that are just better than me uphill. Tomorrow is the second rest day and I look forward to the second week.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef said: “Today was a long stage with another hard start and a finish on a 45 kilometre-long climb. Our goal was to protect Tom as long as possible and to be in a good position on the climb. The boys did a good job and we had five guys going into the last four kilometres. Then things exploded and Tom was able to follow the other GC guys for a while. In the last kilometre some gaps came and he finished 12 seconds down, and is now 3rd on GC.”