Dumoulin to target 2018 Giro d'Italia

De Telegraaf reports Dutchman will defend Maglia Rosa

According to the well-informed Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, and confirmed by Cyclingnews sources, Tom Dumoulin will target the Giro d'Italia once again in 2018. 

Dumoulin won the Sportsman of the Year award in the Netherlands on Tuesday night, crowning a successful 2017 season that also include victories at the world time trail chsmpionships and the BinckBank Tour WorldTour race.

Dumoulin said he had decided his Grand Tour goals for 2018 at the presentation of the Giro d’Italia route on November 29 but insisted he would only reveal his final decision at the Team Sunweb presentation in Berlin in the New Year.

Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport suggested in the immediate aftermath of the Giro d’Italia presentation that Dumoulin would line out for the 101st edition of the Italian Grand Tour. However, there were other indications that Dumoulin would opt to target overall victory at the Tour de France for the first time in his career.

De Telegraaf journalist Raymond Kerckhoffs cited sources in Italy in his report, saying that both Team Sunweb and Dumoulin have confirmed with Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport that the Dutchman will be on the start line in Jerusalem, Israel on May 4.

Cyclingnews has since had confirmation that Dumoulin will indeed again target the Giro d'Italia in 2018.  

Dumoulin explained at the route presentation that any decision would be based purely on logic.

"I go wherever I think I have the best chance of winning," he told Cyclingnews. "Any course in Italy is tempting for me; I love the country, so it's really hard to say no to the Giro.

"The course is nice, it's a good mix of everything but it's not perfect for me. I would have liked more time trial kilometres but I can understand the race organiser, they want to have an exciting race where anybody can win."

Dumoulin is the latest rider to commit to the Giro d’Italia following announcements in recent weeks from the likes of Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates at Mitchelton-Scott, Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana, and Chris Froome, who is aiming for a Giro-Tour double. Froome's 2018 plans, along with his 2017 Vuelta a España title, are currently in doubt following his Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) during the Vuelta.

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education Frist-Drapac) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) have all confirmed they will target the Tour de France in 2018.

Dumoulin won the 2017 Giro d'Italia ahead of Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali in May, claiming two stages en route to overall victory. It was the first Grand Tour victory for the 27-year-old Dutchman. 

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