Made to Measure: Tom Dumoulin to focus on the Giro d'Italia
Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) has confirmed that he will ride the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, with his focus on a second title at the Italian Grand Tour
After the presentation of the course of the 2019 Tour de France, Dumoulin and Sunweb changed their plans. The Dutchman deciding the Giro d'Italia is perfectly made for him.
"My chance of winning the Giro this year is simply many times greater than winning the Tour," said the rider at Sunweb's presentation in Berlin. "It was already certain that we would put everything on the Tour in 2019. But after the Tour presentation, I suddenly started to think if that was a smart idea."
"The team finally made the decision, it was a difficult choice because I understand that I don't have many years to win the Tour. But 2019 is just not a good year for me to put everything on the Tour."
Dumoulin will also start at the Tour de France after the Giro d'Italia, the race in which he finished second in 2018. "I have realised, particularly after last year, that I really want to win the Tour once," he explained. "That is the ultimate goal and that dream has become realistic."
"I hope to ride well the Tour too, but this was not the right year for me to put my entire focus on it."
Wilco Kelderman will play domestique to Tom Dumoulin in 2019, accompanying his fellow Dutch teammate at both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.
Dumoulin placed second in last years Giro d'Italia to Chris Froome (Sky) and second to Geraint Thomas (Sky) at last years Tour de France, both of them are targeting the Tour de France this year.
The Main Contenders in the Fight for Pink
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) announced last season his attempt at the Giro-Tour double.
Simon Yates will be back at the Giro to better his attempt last season, holding the Pink jersey until the last few stages when Froome attacked and took over the race lead.
Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa will lead Movistar at the Giro.
Climbing sensation Egan Bernal will lead Team Sky at the Giro.
Ultra-hard days in the mountains are again a feature of this year’s Giro route, stage sixteen with its back-to-back ascents of the legendary brutal climbs of the Passo Gavia and Passo di Mortirolo stand out, as does the five sucessive climbs packed into the shorter stage 14.
The first week is lacking in difficult and the first proper summit finish doesn’t occur until stage 13, the route is backloaded with brutal stages in the third week, which will favor riders like Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), who tend to get better in Grand Tours and had past Giro bids scuppered by early time losses.
Simon Yates, who gained so much time during the first half of last year’s race, would have to adopt a different strategy this year.