Tom Dumoulin made history by becoming the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia but just as he did when under attack from Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali in the final mountain stages, he stayed calm and collected after celebrating with his Sunweb teammates, his girlfriend and family in Piazza Duomo in Milan. He was looking forward to a celebratory barbecue rather than thinking about his next Grand Tour goal. He wants to keep his feet on the ground rather than become a hero when he returns to the Netherlands and perhaps goes on to target the Tour de France.
Dumoulin defeated Quintana and Nibali to become the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia. He ended a long lean spell for the Netherlands in Grand Tours – Joop Zoetemelk was the last at the 1980 Tour de France.
“This Giro d’Italia victory is not going to change my whole life. I hope to stay the same person with the same character,” Dumoulin said.
“Maybe people around me will approach me differently but I hope they don’t. If I stay the same, I hope other people around me will too. I really hope I can walk around Maastricht without being treated like a superhero. I can ride my bike fast, but I’m just a normal person.”
“Of course it’s amazing when you see all the names on the winner’s trophy. It’s an honour to be part of this long list of champions. I don’t feel 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.”
Dumoulin constructed his victory in the stage 10 time trial, gaining huge chunks of time on his rivals. He then defended the Maglia Rosa in the mountain stages of the final week in a way that reminded many of Miguel Indurain.
Becoming a Grand Tour winner
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