MILAN (Reuters) - Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb claimed his maiden grand tour title when he won the Giro d’Italia after crushing his main rivals in Sunday’s final time trial.
Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished second overall, 31 seconds behind, and Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) took third place, 40 seconds off the pace.
“It’s really crazy, I cannot describe it with words. It was such a nerve-racking day but I did it, I had good legs,” said Dumoulin.
The 26-year-old time-trial specialist turned grand tour rider had flagged himself up in 2015 when he took sixth place overall in the Tour of Spain.
He lost the Giro overall leader’s pink jersey on the 19th stage as he struggled in the final mountain stages but limited his losses to be in a good position for Sunday’s 29.3-km solo effort between Monza and Milan.
Dumoulin finished second behind compatriot Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) in the stage to round off what a tearful Van Emden called “a great day for Dutch cycling”.
No Dutchman had ever won the Giro, which began in 1909 and this year reached its 100th edition.
Quintana, the overnight leader, held off last year’s winner Nibali, who kept his spot on the podium ahead of fourth-placed Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Russian Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha).
Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts predicted that Dumoulin would only get better with the victory under his belt.
“He’s been going step by step and he’s a young guy with a big future ahead of him,” Roberts said.
“We’ve had 21 days of hard racing and (the win) was really overwhelming.”
Writing by Julien Pretot; Additional reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Clare Fallon