Tom Dumoulin continued his winning run against the clock in 2017 with the Team Sunweb rider defending his Dutch time trial title. The winner of the stage 10 Giro d'Italia time trial on his way to overall success, Dumoulin bounced back from his Tour de Suisse abandonment to seal the jersey.
Held on a 50km course in Montferland, Dumoulin proved 24 seconds faster than LottoNL-Jumbo's Stef Clement, and 58 seconds ahead of Robert Gesink. Although LottoNL-Jumbo dominated the top five with four riders, Dumoulin was again imperious as he added to his 2014 and 2016 titles.
"I'm really happy to take the win once again. The parcours suited me well and although the heat made things quite challenging, I managed to cope with the conditions well," said Dumoulin. "Dealing with the mental and physical aspects of the past few weeks have gone pretty well and have been much easier than I had anticipated. It's great to be able to wear the jersey for another year."
Team Sunweb's trainer Adriaan Helmantel added that the team was unsure how Dumoulin's Giro winning form would carry across the nationals. However, Helmantel explained Dumoulin's mental strength again proved decisive.
"We knew that the circumstances today would be quite difficult after Tom suffered fatigue following an intense racing period. He had a good few days of recovery over the past week to ensure that he was feeling fresh for today. The team did a great job in executing the protocols to perfection so that all Tom had to focus on was what he does best," Helmantel said. "We knew that it would be a mental battle above everything but he was really motivated beforehand to keep the jersey. He had a really controlled start and went at his own pace despite initially being down a few seconds. With each checkpoint his lead increased and in the end he won by 24 seconds, it's a really strong ride from him and a great performance."
The win moves Dumoulin into equal second place of all time Dutch time trial winners alongside Bart Voskamp and Erik Dekker. One more win would move him equal top with Clement who tipped his hat to Dumoulin, explaining that the 26-year-old was simply unbeatable.
"The best man won today. Of course, it is nice to ride in the national jersey for a year. I am happy that I rode in the jersey for several years of my career, but if you finish second behind the best time trialist of this moment, you must be happy with that," said Clement. "I came to ride a good time trial, second to Dumoulin was the best possible for me. An honourable mention for Robert, who competed for the first time in the time trial and placed third. Not many riders are able to do that, and this was the strongest field of riders we had for years."
Dumoulin and Team Sunweb will be aiming to add the road race title to its haul on Sunday at Montferland in the 231km road race. Dumoulin's next race against the clock is likely to come at August's BinckBank Tour as the Durchman prepares for the Vuelta a Espana.
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