Tom Dumoulin’s Giro d’Italia was left in the balance after he was caught up in a crash with six kilometres to go on stage 4. With blood trickling down his right leg, Dumoulin crossed the line over four minutes down on the stage winner, surrounded by his teammates.
As a result, Dumoulin plummeted out of the top 10 and he now sits in 56th place some 4:30 down on the maglia rosa.
Dumoulin was treated on the Team Sunweb bus and then was taken to hospital for further checks. Team Sunweb quickly confirmed that an x-ray confirmed he had not fractured any bones. However there concerns about the cuts around his left knee and tendon injuries.
"It’s a hard blow. We came to win the Giro but after four stages if you are four minutes from the leader, we’re not happy and Tom is not happy," Team Sunweb coach Michiel Elijzen told Italian television.
"We just have to wait and see if he can continue in the Giro. Maybe the GC is over but maybe we can try to win a stage. We also have the other team members. We have to stay positive but this is not a good day for us. This is also cycling."
The crash happened as the stage reached its denouement following a touch of wheels near the front of the bunch. Only a lucky few riders avoided being caught up, one of which was the race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
While most of the general classification riders were start racing relatively quickly and limit their losses to 18 seconds, Dumoulin was not so fortunate. Though he was back on his bike, it was clear that he was in quite a bit of discomfort and a wider shot from the TV motorbike showed blood all down the front of his left leg.
The blood appeared to be coming from an injury just above Dumoulin’s knee and a video from outside the team bus showed the Dutchman struggling to bend his leg as he walked onto the bus.
Dumoulin’s teammate Chad Haga was also caught up in the crash and could be seen being pulled out of a ditch by another rider. He finished some time behind Dumoulin.
More to follow...