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Giro leader Tom Dumoulin needed a 'toilet break' at the worst possible time today

“I had to stop because I couldn’t hold it anymore.”

Dumoulin: "It was terrible."

GIRO D’ITALIA LEADER Tom Dumoulin suffered a nightmare day but refused to blame his rivals for capitalising on an unscheduled toilet stop that badly hurt his hopes of overall victory.

Dumoulin started Tuesday’s stage with a 2min 41sec lead over Nairo Quintana and with high hopes of becoming the first Dutchman to win the pink jersey.

But by the end of the 222 km ride from Rovetta to Bormio — won by Vincenzo Nibali — Dumoulin’s dream was shattered after seeing his lead over Quintana slashed to 31secs.

There were some suggestions his rivals had shown poor sportsmanship, attacking while he made a desperate toilet stop following the first of two ascensions of the Stelvio climb.

“I don’t know, it’s difficult to say,” said Dumoulin, when asked if he was angry.

Source: TubeSport/YouTube

In professional cycling rivals often wait for each other following unexpected incidents to ensure a fair battle.

On Sunday, Quintana thanked Dumoulin for slowing the pace of the peloton when he crashed so he could catch up.

In contrast, no teams slowed when Dumoulin suffered his mishap, the Dutchman forced to hurriedly throw his bike into the grass and rip off his cycling shorts in desperation as he suffered a bout of diarrhoea.

“It was a race situation, we were going full gas and I didn’t expect them to stop,” added Dumoulin.

Italy Giro Cycling Vincenzo Nibali, right, beat Mikel Landa to the line. Source: AP/PA Images

With another four mountain stages still to come, the time-trial specialist was left despondent.

“I’m still in (the leader’s jersey) but not with the lead I had hoped for,” he said.

“I’m disappointed with myself. I lost two minutes not because I had bad legs, just because I had other problems.

“It was terrible. I had to stop because I couldn’t hold it anymore.

“I had to fight and fight and fight, and take conclusions after the finish. That’s what I did. I’m very disappointed with today.”

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Nibali, who suggested Dumoulin had “not been feeding right” or perhaps suffered a chill due to the “cold temperatures”, had little sympathy.

“It wasn’t a crash,” said Nibali when asked if he and the peloton had thought to stop and wait.

“No one has ever stopped and waited for me whenever I’ve ever had a problem, and I’ve had plenty in the past whether it’s being sick, a crash or a flat tire.

“Maybe I’ll be attacked for what I say but if you look at the history of cycling, there are plenty of incidents of riders attacking their rivals in such circumstances.”

© – AFP 2017

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