In a bittersweet day for Team Sunweb, Tom Dumoulin went through with the best to take third atop Blockhaus whilst team mate Wilco Kelderman was forced to abandon after a crash with a race motorbike left him with a broken finger.
The day started with a break of 12 spending some time up the road. As the peloton edged closer to the days first category climb, teams took to the front to reel the break back in. With 22 kilometres left to race the bridge was made and Team Sunweb made their way up to the front of the bunch, delivering Tom Dumoulin in prime position before Blockhaus. The road began to rise and with just five kilometres to the official start of the ascent, a race motorbike caused Wilco Kelderman to crash, forcing him to abandon the race.
Whilst the peloton fought to regain some order after the crash, Team Sunweb were still up there with three riders around Tom. As the gradient kicked in, a group of favourites formed with Tom holding his own in the ever reducing leading bunch. Attacks came from the then group of ten and three riders went clear. Tom showed his strength and the development of his climbing abilities, shedding more and more riders from his chase group and bridging across to the second man on the road. As he crested the climb, he launched his sprint to take third place at the line. His strong performance moves him up to third place in the overall standings.
After the stage Tom said: “Wilco was feeling really good and its a shame to loose him. I really can’t be happy with this result because I’m so dissappointed he’s out of the race. I could just avoid the crash but Wilco was closer to him than me, it’s a real shame. Aside from the crash, it was good to bring some fireworks and the legs are good.”