When we last saw Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis he was exhausted. He abandoned the Tour de France before stage 12, citing complete and utter physical breakdown. He couldn’t even pick up his baby.
Eight months of rest and now he feels way better. In fact, so damn good the littlest guy in the peloton won stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya. He was fresh enough to beat Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) and Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the field sprint finale.
Cycling is a tiring sport and last year Dumoulin blew out of the gate fast. In fact, he won the overall at Étoile de Bessèges plus had stage wins in Catalunya and the Circuit de la Sarthe. He was red freakin’ hot. But half way through le torture of le tour and he was cooked.
Who knows how these thing happen? In the 2004 Tour de France, he hit a dog, crashed hard and didn’t race for the rest of the year. Apparently, nobody had a race radio to say “Sammy, attention au chien!” Not even Jens Voigt could save him.
But back to Catalunya. Those of us who are mere cycling mortals need to root for riders like Sammy. The little guys who give it everything, who weren’t born tall, dark and fast, just short, dark and on occasion kinda fast. Standing just just 5′ 2 1/2″ tall, Sammy is one of our guys and we always smile when he makes the win column.
Alberto Contador, who is a lot more famous and significantly taller than Dumoulin, called the stage to Tarragona “very demanding.” The Spaniard is still in first place overall and has no hearing date for the Court for Arbitration for Sport. So he feels pretty good and so does his lawyer.
The Pistolero maintained his 23-second lead over Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and nobody looks like they’re taking Catalunya away from him. Certainly not Sammy.
Contador said he is “very well and I recover very well every day, although I like the stages with a little less kilometers, but anyway I’m fine”
There you have it. Contador is fine, a little hair loss over that meat-gate thing but fine. And little Sammy Dumoulin wins one for us regular folks. Go Sammy, go.