Tom Dumoulin set to ride Tour de France

Team Sunweb expected to reveal pre-selection this week

Tom Dumoulin is set to ride the 2018 Tour de France, with Team Sunweb expected to confirm his presence in their pre-selection for the French Grand Tour later this week.

Dumoulin avoided making any clear confirmation on the final day of the Giro d’Italia in Rome after he finished second overall to Chris Froome, or even during Friday’s opening day of racing at the Hammer Series in Limburg. However the usually well-informed De Telegraaf newspaper reported on Monday that Dumoulin will be part of Team Sunweb’s eight-rider squad for the Tour, which starts in the Vendee region on July 7.

Sprinter Michael Matthews and Wilco Kelderman are also expected to be leaders for Team Sunweb at the Tour de France, with Dumoulin perhaps starting the Tour de France with the goal of targeting stage victories.

The 1limburg.nl website quoted a Team Sunweb spokesperson as saying: "We will announce our pre-selection later this week, including clarity about Tom and our goals."

Dumoulin apparently met with Team Sunweb management before riding Friday’s Hammer Series race.

“I already know, we made the decision the day before yesterday, you're going to hear it. Something will become known about this in the course of next week. The Tour is a race that makes me very happy, I still have a few years, so if I do not ride the Tour this year, I'll ride it later," Dumoulin told 1limburg.nl on Friday, carefully mixing the waters about his final decision.

Dumoulin last rode the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year in 2016, when he won one stage at the Giro and two stages at the Tour before abandoning both races. Last year he won the Giro d’Italia but opted to miss the Vuelta a Espana before ending the season by taking the team and individual time trial world title in Bergen.

Dumoulin struggled at the Hammer Series, pulling out after just two laps on Friday. He will enjoy a short holiday this week before returning to training. His only race before the Tour de France is likely to be the Dutch national championships. 

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