Giro d’Italia 2017
Dumoulin, who is the first Dutchman to win a Grand Tour since Joop Zoetemelk won the Tour de France in 1980, said: “It’s really crazy. I cannot describe it with words. It’s incredible. It was such a nerve-wracking day. I was super-nervous from the beginning of the day. I needed to stay calm, but I almost couldn’t.
“But I did it. I had good legs and I just went for it. I spoke to my team director and he said, ‘Only if we’re sure, I’ll tell you not to take risks in the corners’, and he did it at halfway already, and I thought, ‘Oh man, this is early to say something like that’.
“And then I crossed the line and they said, ‘You won it’. But then I sat here in front of the TV and it was only a few seconds and I was really angry. But eventually I pulled it off and it’s incredible.”
Pinot finished 1min 17sec in fourth, while Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) ended the race 1min 56sec down in fifth.
Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) won the best young rider’s white jersey after overhauling previous holder Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) in the time trial, while Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) safely negotiated the final stage to wrap up victory in the mountains and points classifications respectively.
Stage 21 started at the Monza motor racing circuit and ended in front of the Duomo in central Milan.
Dumoulin made a flying start and was already 17 seconds ahead of Nibali and Zakarin, 26 seconds quicker than Pinot and 33 seconds in front of Quintana at the first intermediate split, after 8.8km.
He had stretched those leads to 37 seconds over Nibali, 48 seconds over Zakarin, 53 seconds over Pinot and one minute over Quintana by the 17.4km split, and then continued to pull away in the final sector to seal the first Grand Tour victory of his career.
Van Emden, meanwhile, was only two seconds ahead of Dumoulin at the 8.8km split and still just six seconds in front by 17.4km, but he distanced his fellow Dutchman in the final 10km to clinch his first Grand Tour stage win.
Final Classification of the 2017 Giro d’Italia
1. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Sunweb) 90:34:54″
2. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) +31″
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Bahrain) +40″
4. Thibaut Pinot (France / FDJ) +1:17″
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Russia / Katusha) +1:56″
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +3:11″
7. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek) +3:41″
8. Bob Jungels (Luxembourg / Quick-Step) +7:04″
9. Adam Yates (Britain / Orica) +8:10″
10. Davide Formolo (Italy / Cannondale) +15:17″