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Tom Dumoulin finds cause of stomach problems

Joe Robinson
11 Apr 2018

Fructose and lactose root cause of stomach issues seen at last year's Giro d'Italia

Besides standing in pink on the final podium in Milan, the most iconic image of the 2017 Giro d'Italia for eventual winner Tom Dumoulin was the impromptu toilet stop taken on the side of the Stelvio.

These stomach issues continued and have troubled the time trial World Champion for the past season despite the Dutchman taking some of his biggest ever victories. 

So in order for this to not happen again Dumoulin announced at the end of last year that he had began to investigate his digestive issues.

The rider has now had a breakthrough confirming that his problems were caused by an inability to process two sugar types, fructose and lactose, on long, hard days in the saddle.

Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS, the Giro champion confirmed the root cause of his problems. 

'A number of food groups, such as fructose and lactose, are not very digestible for every human being,' explained Dumoulin.

'Some people have a little more trouble with it than others. Me, well I probably have a little more trouble.

'If you are already on the limit in terms of digestion in your digestive system, and you just throw something in at the wrong time, such as during the Giro, it can be passed through directly.' 

The body struggling to digest certain food products while under stress is a common occurrence in cyclists with many finding themselves adverse to certain sugars and dairy products. This will simply see Dumoulin adjust his diet while on the bike.

The scenes of Dumoulin at last year's Giro are now well-documented. Struggling, the Dutchman pulled over to the side of the road on Stage 16 to Bormio. 

Relieving himself on the side of the Passo dello Stelvio, Dumoulin was distanced by his rivals losing time in his defence of the pink jersey. Ultimately, he was able to recover and take overall victory five days later.

Dumoulin is currently in Sierra Nevada on a high altitude training camp with Liege-Bastogne-Liege next weekend his next race.

The scheduled to defend his Giro title next month with the race starting in Jerusalem, Israel on Friday 4th May.