On Tuesday, pro cyclist Tom Dumoulin watched his overall lead of 2 minutes and 41 seconds on the rest of the field at the Giro d’Italia get slashed to a mere 31 seconds during stage 16 of the race. And, unfortunately for Dumoulin, the reason for his decline had nothing to do with performance: According to the Daily Mail, it was the result of a mid-race emergency bathroom break.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 23, 2017
As reported by the Daily Mail, the 26-year-old Dutch cyclist had to answer nature’s call with just 20 miles left in the 138-mile stage.
Dumoulin stopped suddenly and was captured on camera quickly tearing off his helmet and cycling jersey on the side of the road to attend to the emergency as fellow competitors quickly pedaled past him without slowing. As reported by Velonews, the rest of the field’s decision to not slow up to allow Dumoulin to handle his business has drawn the ire of some.
Velonews writes that riders who are battling for overall position will often slow down their pace if one of their close rivals crashes in order to allow the rival the ability to catch back up and ensure a fair contest.
Cyclingnews reports that on Sunday, Dumoulin intentionally slowed the pace of the peloton to allow the rider currently second in the second overall position at the Giro d’Italia — Colombian Nairo Quintana — to catch back up.
By contrast, no riders slowed up for Dumoulin when he attended to his gastrointestinal troubles.
“It was a race situation, we were going full-gas and I didn’t expect them to stop,” Dumoulin told Velonews after the race.
Still, judging by his tweets, the young Dutchman didn’t seem too pleased to lose such a sizable chunk of his lead to the field.
A day to quickly forget! Good legs, but very dissapointed that I lost 2 min because nature called…
— Tom Dumoulin (@tom_dumoulin) May 23, 2017
With five days left in the Giro d’Italia, Dumoulin leads Quintana by 31 seconds and Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali by 1 minute and 12 seconds.
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