Hemmed in by sofa instead of hills, Dumoulin takes on Amstel in living room

PARIS (AFP) – Former Giro d’Italia cycling champion Tom Dumoulin took on the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, hemmed in by his sofa rather than the one-day classic’s standout lung-busting hills.

A virtual version of the race took place with amateurs testing themselves against Dutch ace Dumoulin and other professionals over a 26km section of the race.

Sunday’s real Amstel Gold was postponed due to the coronavirus to be replaced by an online version.

Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro winner, raced the circuit from his holiday home in Cauberg in the Netherlands, the site of one of the event’s traditional climbs.

Director of the real Amstel Gold race, Leo van Vliet told Dutch daily Der Telegraf: “I hope we can really race this year. Because look at Tom, you shouldn’t have to keep riding such an exercise bike for six months.

“When you see the sun and it is 20 degrees, you long to go outside again.”

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) rides during the virtual tour of the Amstel Gold Race at a holiday home in Valkenburg yesterday, the first time in history, the tour takes place virtually. PHOTO: AFP