Tom Dumoulin has previously stated his desire to target the Tour de France in 2019, but since the route was announced last month, the Dutchman is torn on whether he should keep to that plan or go back to the Giro d’Italia.
Having previously said that the Tour route was ‘not ideal’ for him, Dumoulin was more explicit when speaking at an Amstel Gold Race Xperience event on Saturday. Dumoulin said that the 2019 Tour route was the least suited to him in recent years. However, he sees the Grand Boucle as the biggest challenge for him after already winning the Giro d’Italia in 2017.
Dumoulin rode both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this season, and took second to Chris Froome at the former. He went on to finish second overall to Geraint Thomas at this year’s Tour de France, the first time that he had seriously targeted the general classification at the race.
"The route of the Tour de France is far from ideal for me. I do not think that there has been a Grand Tour in recent years that fits my profile so badly,” Dumoulin said according to De Telegraaf. "In all respects, the Giro is much better for me.
"On the other hand, I won the Giro once, while after the second place behind Geraint Thomas last summer, my big challenge is to win the Tour. At the end of July, I clearly stated that this Tour would become my big goal. I wonder now if I should put everything on the Tour in 2019.”
Dumoulin will have to make a decision soon so that he can start planning the rest of his racing programme around it. The team are set to meet for their first off-season training camp in December, when Dumoulin expects the final call to be made. He says that he’s happy to let the team decide where he goes, but plays down the idea of attempting both the Giro and the Tour once again.
“After the first discussions with the team, we tend to choose a Grand Tour. I currently do not really have a preference, so the team has the decisive vote,” he said. “We will soon make that decision because the whole programme depends on that choice. To ride the combination of the Giro and the Tour again? After this season, I know how heavy it is, and it is far from ideal to ride two Grand Tours every year.”
During the evening, Dumoulin was also asked about his opinion on banning race radios. Current UCI president David Lappartient has repeatedly stated his desire to remove them and his assertions have been greeted by a mixed response from the peloton. Dumoulin is of the opinion that it could spice up the action if they were removed but believes there should still be some sort of radio communication available for safety purposes.
"I think there are a lot of races that could have been more spectacular," Dumoulin said. "I do think that there must be a communication line between, for example, the jury and the riders so that we can be warned in time for certain danger points in the course. "