For many people the most memorable moment of the 2017 Giro d’Italia was not Tom Dumoulin crossing the line and lifting the spiral trophy aloft in Milan, or his brilliant summit finish stage win in Oropa.
Instead, their lasting memory of the race will come from stage 16, when Dumoulin had to engage in a frantic chase after pulling off his pink jersey, dropping his shorts, and running down a roadside bank for surely the most famous natural break in the history of sport.
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The incident saw Dumoulin’s lead in the general classification cut from 2-41 to just 31 seconds, so it is understandable that the Dutchman is now taking steps to ensure there is no repeat case in future events which could have consequences in deciding a race.
Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NPO2, Dumoulin said that he had been working with doctors to try and work out why he suffered such stomach trouble in Italy, but that they still had not found a reason for his problems.
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“That problem is still not solved,” Dumoulin said, two days after the Giro d’Italia 2018 route was announced at the official presentation in Milan.
“I recently spent a couple of days at the hospital in Enschede for all sorts of research, and now I’m following a diet where we hope to find out whether I’m sensitive to certain products.
“It’s one of those things I’m doing in this period in the hope of better for the coming years.”
Despite attending the route presentation on Wednesday, Dumoulin is yet to announce whether he will be defending his pink jersey in 2018, or whether he will look to challenge of the Tour de France next season.
A strong time triallist, Dumoulin might not like the look of a Tour de France which features only 31km of individual time trialling, although the Giro includes only a little more with 44km of riding against the clock.