Tom Dumoulin: I'm going to the Giro d'Italia to win again

Tour de France or Vuelta a Espana could complete Dutchman's Grand Tour season

Tom Dumoulin has confirmed that he will target the defence of his Giro d’Italia crown in 2018. The 2017 race winner confirmed the news on stage at the Team Sunweb presentation in Berlin on Thursday.

The Dutchman also hinted that the Tour de France could also feature on his race programme but that he was also toying with the idea of competing in the Vuelta a España later in the season.

"We looked at the courses of Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France and the Giro was more favourable to me. I'd like to go for the win again," the 27-year-old said to media attending the presentation.

Dumoulin also confirmed that he would retrace his pre-Giro d’Italia steps from 2017 with an identical race calendar this season.

"It’s exactly the same as last year. I’ll do Abu Dhabi, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, an altitude camp and then Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I'll skip Amstel [Gold Race] again with pain in my heart. Then I’ll head to the Giro. After the Giro, the Tour could be an option or the Vuelta.

"It's a new year, new start. I don't see it as defending my title. I'm going back to do my best. It's s cliche but it's true: everybody starts from zero on January 1."

Dumoulin added that while the Tour de France could be fitted into his race programme, the course in July was not ideally suited to this skill-set. There are just 31 kilometres of time trialing in the race, with an individual race against the clock on the penultimate stage and a team time trial in the first week.

The Giro d’Italia kicks off on May 4 with a 9.7k time trial in Jerusalem and has a 34.5km test on stage 17 between Trento and Rovereto. The race concludes on May 27 with a flat stage in Rome. Dumoulin won the 2017 edition of the race ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida).

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