One year ago, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was a time trial specialist and outside Grand Tour contender. Now the Giro d'Italia winner, the Dutchman has proved to be such an inspiration that his fans turned out by the thousands to attend a celebration of his victory in Maastricht, the capital city of the Limburg province of the Netherlands.
Dumoulin staged a come-from-behind overall victory on the final time trial of the Italian Grand Tour to unseat Movistar's Nairo Quintana, winning the race by 31 seconds after three weeks and 3,609.1 kilometres of racing.
But his success overshadowed that of his compatriot Jos van Emden, who won the final stage, and during the celebration on Wednesday, Dumoulin handed the microphone over to the LottoNL-Jumbo rider.
"It was a great day for Dutch cycling. Not only for me but also for Jos," Dumoulin said, looking somewhat uncomfortable to be on stage in front of such a large crowd.
Soon, Dumoulin was sharing the spotlight with the greats who came before him, Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk, the only other Dutch Grand Tour winners.