Tom Dumoulin Loses Time During Emergency Bathroom Break

At around 32km to go on Stage 16 on Tuesday, Giro d'Italia race leader Tom Dumoulin was forced to jump off his bike in what was clearly an emergency situation. Nature stops are common mid-race, but he must've been fighting this one for a long time. Anyone who's been in this scenario can sympathize with the Sunweb rider's frenzied rush to rip the jersey off his body. Shockingly, it took the cameraman to the point where Dumoulin was completely naked to realize what was happening and pan away from the Dutchman crouching on the side of the road. Thankfully, the motorbike was far enough away that it wasn't a close shot.

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Let's rewind briefly to Sunday's Stage 15. Nairo Quintana crashes on the descent off the Selvio with 36km to go. Dumoulin then rides to the front to slow the peloton and wait for the Movistar rider to rejoin the group. Speaking about this afterward, Dumoulin said, "I don't want to take time on competitors because they crash. I don't think that's the way to do it." Even Quintana voiced his praise of Dumoulin's actions, "It was a gesture from a great rival and a good character."

Now, returning to Stage 16. The question quickly became, will Quintana return the goodwill during Dumoulin's emergency? In short... no. To be fair, you can argue the race was "on" more so than the moment Quintana crashed on Stage 15. It's also difficult to tell what information was available to them on Dumoulin's status. Either way, it's not the way anyone wants to see a major contender lose significant time at a grand tour.


Sunweb teammate Laurens ten Dam dropped back and burned himself to give Dumoulin as much assistance as he could, but the pace was already too high among the GC contenders to close much of the gap. With Vincenzo Nibali and Quintana attacking up the climb, Dumoulin was forced to work solo. Dumoulin was climbing well but was unable to gain any assistance because every rider he caught could not hold the pace he was setting.

Nibali opened up a gap on the descent with Mikel Landa and out-sprinted the Spaniard to earn the stage win and bonus seconds at the line. An exhausted Dumoulin crossed the line 2:18 behind Nibali and immediately asked "Did I keep the Maglia Rosa?" It was a costly day, but he was able to limit his losses and keep the pink jersey. He now only leads Quintana by 31 seconds and Nibali by 1:12.

Speaking with Eurosport after the race, a despondent Dumoulin didn't have many positive takeaways from the stage.

I needed to take a dump and could not hold it anymore. It was not possible to continue anymore. How do you think I feel? I decided to fight and fight and fight. I'm very disappointed with today... right now I'm just disappointed. I could have easily been with Nibali and Quintana. I just lost it because I had a problem. That's, uh, shit.


Stage 16 Results

Place Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 6:24:22
2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:12
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:32
6 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:26
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:35
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
11 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
12 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Lotoo NL-Jumbo
13 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:18

Overall General Classification

Place Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 70:14:48
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:31
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:12
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:02:38
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:40
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:05
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:49
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:04:35
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:06:20
10 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:00

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