(Reuters) - Dutchman Tom Dumoulin claimed the Giro d’Italia pink jersey when he crushed the opposition in Tuesday’s individual time trial to open up a big gap at the top of the overall standings.
The Team Sunweb rider clocked 50 minutes 37 seconds over the 39.8-km course between Foligno and Montefalco, beating Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) by 49 seconds and Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels (Quick Step-Floors) by 56.
Overall, Dumoulin now leads previous leader Nairo Quintana by 2:23 after the Colombian lost a massive 2:53.
Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) moved up to third, 2:38 behind his compatriot, after he leapfrogged Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), now fourth and two further seconds back at the end of a bad day in the 10th stage.
Thomas, who lost over five minutes after a crash in the ninth stage, revived his podium finish hopes, sitting in 11th place overall, 5:33 off the pace.
Dumoulin will now have to hold off the expected repeated attacks from pure climbers like Pinot, Quintana and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali in future stages if he is to retain the maglia rosa and win his first grand tour.
In 2015, Dumoulin was leading the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) at the start of the penultimate stage but cracked in the last mountain trek after an onslaught from Fabio Aru’s Astana team to end up sixth overall.
Wednesday’s 11th stage is a 161-km hilly ride from Florence to Bagno Di Romagna.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Larry King