Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) was fuming after the finish to Laruns at the 2018 Tour de France, saying that Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) received a draft from a television motorbike to help him escape on the final descent from the Col d’Aubisque.
Roglic won the stage 19 by 19 seconds and also took the 10-second time bonus. It was enough time for him to leapfrog Chris Froome (Team Sky) for third place and also move within 19 seconds of Dumoulin in second overall with only two days to race.
“Primoz was the strongest today and I have a lot of respect for his victory,” Dumoulin said. “He was flying downhill and eventually I got dropped on a straight part just because he was on his top tube and full in the slipstream of the motorbike.
“I was sprinting to his wheel and I could not get closer and I just got dropped on the only straight part of the downhill. It’s ridiculous.
“I’m not happy, of course not. I’m f**king disappointed.”
Dumoulin said he would not protest the incident, saying “it makes no sense anyway.”
Roglic attacked multiple times on the final Aubisque climb and then put the pressure on his rivals on the 20km descent, but didn’t think he had been in the slipstream of the TV motorbike on the descent.
“I don’t think so, so it’s hard to comment,” the Slovenian stage winner said. “We all have the same opportunity to be on the front on the descents. I didn’t notice anything unusual.”
Dumoulin chased for much of the descent with Thomas on his wheel for fear of losing his second place overall.
“No. I wasn’t, it was up to me. That’s it,” Dumoulin said when asked if he had help in the chase. “Froome helped a bit, but that’s it.”
He became the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia in 2017, before finishing second behind Froome this May. He holds second place in the Tour de France, but risks losing it in the 31km time trial to Espelette tomorrow. Dumoulin is a world champion in the discipline, but Roglic is known for his time trialling too.