A low-key showing in the stage 2 time trial in Breda has proved costly to Tom Dumoulin’s hopes of final overall victory at the Eneco Tour, but the Giant-Alpecin man is hopeful that the remainder of the race will provide useful preparation for the World Championships time trial in Doha next month.
Dumoulin, the Dutch national time trial champion and silver medallist in the discipline at the Rio 2016 Olympics, was among the favourites for stage honours ahead of Tuesday’s 9.4-kilometre test, but he could only manage 14th place, 20 seconds down on winner Rohan Dennis (BMC).
“Today it didn’t work out. I have had a busy season with a lot of races. During the time trial, I couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm, and I was lacking my normal sharpness,” Dumoulin said. “I’m disappointed with the result but more wasn’t possible. I just couldn’t get any more out of myself.”
The Olympic Games time trial was Dumoulin’s primary target in 2016, but the Dutchman followed a busy race schedule ahead of Rio. He won the opening time trial at the Giro d’Italia and wore the pink jersey for much of the opening week before abandoning due to a saddle sore.
After winning the Dutch time trial title on his return to action, Dumoulin lined out at the Tour de France, winning the mountaintop finish in Andorra and the Ardèche time trial in week two, before he was forced out when he fractured his wrist in a crash two days from Paris. Dumoulin raced the Tour of Britain earlier this month as he kicked off his Worlds build-up.
“At the end of the season, it’s getting more difficult to show the level that is required to go for the victory,” Dumoulin said. “I hope I will be in a better condition for the Worlds, though.”
Dumoulin and Giant-Alpecin will look to perform strongly in Friday’s team time trial, though he accepted that his hopes of overall victory are already faint.
“In the team time trial we want to show you something. We’re riding here with the guys that will ride the team time trial at the Worlds,” Dumoulin said, according to De Telegraaf, though the individual time trial will be his primary aim in Doha. “The classification here is gone, but it's still good preparation in view of Qatar."