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Dumoulin used his time trialing strength at the base of the final climb, then beat Tour de France champ Chris Froome to the line. Cor Vos photo.

Dumoulin Wins, Takes Back Lead at Vuelta!

August 30, 2015

Team Giant-Alpecin rider Tom Dumoulin roared back into the overall lead of the Vuelta a España Sunday with one of the biggest wins of his career on the 169km Stage 9 from Torrevieja to Cumbre del Sol. The 24-year-old Dutchman surprised the climbers and overall contenders when he powered up the final 4km climb on his TCR Advanced SL, taking back the GC leader’s red jersey and seizing control of the three-week grand tour.

“My tactic for the final climb was to attack on the flatter part and hang on during the steeper part,” said the former Dutch national time trial champion. “I could never have imagined that I could win a stage like this, but I’m in the form of my life.”

Dumoulin spent the last month recovering from injury and preparing for the Vuelta, the season’s final grand tour, after he crashed and separated his shoulder at the Tour de France in July. He made a strong comeback statement last week when he finished second in Stage 2.

Dumoulin wore the leader’s jersey for a day, surrendered it to Colombian Esteban Chaves, then won it back on Sunday when he beat Tour de France winner Chris Froome atop the Alto de Puig Llorenca. With the win, Dumoulin took the lead by 57 seconds over Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez.

“I’m really happy with the first week and my form, as I didn’t know exactly what to expect at this Vuelta,” Dumoulin said. “I’m proud to be back in the leader’s jersey now, and I will see day by day how it goes from here. We are not on the big climbs yet, but my climbing is improving and I’m climbing well.”

The Vuelta continues Monday with a 147km stage from Valencia to Castellon, and will conclude September 13 in Madrid.