Tour de France: Tom Dumoulin secures Zwift Rider of the Day

World champion wins stage 20 time trial

For his stage win in the French Basque Country on stage 20 of the Tour de France, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) takes the penultimate Zwift Rider of the Day prize of the 2018 race. The Dutchman edged out Team Sky's Chris Froome to take the third Tour stage victory of his career.

It wasn't as decisive a victory as his ride to La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc in 2016 though. Back then, midway through the Tour, he beat Froome by 1:03 into second place. Today, on a stage where he was behind Froome by 14 and 13 seconds at the two checkpoints, he came over the line just over a second ahead of the four-time Tour winner.

Problems with the timing all day meant that it wasn't immediately clear who had won the stage, with Froome appearing to have taken it by a second before the graphics corrected themselves once Dumoulin had crossed the line.

Dumoulin, winner of the Giro d'Italia in 2017, was amazed by his victory, repeatedly stating in a post-stage interview how crazy the situation was.

"Oh that's crazy. I didn't know anything about split times," he said. "I still thought Froome was one second ahead of me when I crossed the line. Everybody said I was second by one second. That's crazy - wow!"

He then went on to tell of his kit troubles, coming up lucky that Team Sunweb clothing sponsor Etxeondo are based just over the border from where the stage was run.

"This morning we found out that we lost my skinsuit. So Etxeondo, our clothing sponsor from the Spanish Basque Country, made a new one. I'm wearing it this morning, and I'm forever thankful otherwise I would not be finishing in this beautiful world champion's jersey."

His second place overall at the Tour means that Dumoulin has completed arguably the best Giro-Tour double attempt since Marco Pantani won both races all the way back in 1998. Third-placed man Froome might have something to say about that though, having won the Giro and finished third here.

Despite not winning either Grand Tour, Dumoulin can be very pleased with this first part of his season. A stage win in Jerusalem in May, added to this win and his overall results, make up a remarkable season that could still get better. With a break likely next on the cards, surely his attention will next turn to a World Championships defence in Austria at the end of September.

Daniel Ostanek: As I've already written, Dumoulin has enjoyed a fantastic season so far, obtaining a Giro-Tour result that has eluded so many since Il Pirata. To cap it off with a stage victory, especially with the standard of TT rider he was up against, is the icing on the cake.

It also draws to a close one of the most impressive Grand Tour runs in recent times, with a win at the Giro followed up by these two second places. Quite something from a man who was not considered a GC rider until three years ago, and has worked his way up to this status.

Readers' choice

On Friday's stage 19 you voted for LottoNL-Jumbo's Primož Roglič as your Zwift Rider of the Day. The Slovenian, who won a Tour stage last year at Serre Chevalier, once again showed his aptitude for descending, taking a solo victory in Laruns after attacking relentlessly up the final climb of the day beforehand.

You can vote for stage 20's Zwift Rider of the Day below. We will announce the reader's poll winner after Sunday' stage 21.

 

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