Tom Dumoulin: The plan is to win UAE Tour so we need to attack Roglic

Team Sunweb finish runner-up to Jumbo-Visma in opening TTT

Tom Dumoulin says that he's ready to go on the attack at the UAE Tour in an attempt to unseat Primoz Roglic from the race lead after Jumbo-Visma beat Team Sunweb in the opening team time trial.

Dumoulin and co-leader Wilco Kelderman sit just seven seconds behind Roglic with two key mountain stages to come.

"The plan is to try and win the race so we need to attack Roglic for sure," said Dumoulin. "We're in a good position, we’re in the position to attack, but it all depends on legs eventually. It’s definitely a good position for Wilco and me to build from there."

Coming so close to the victory, it would be easy to see why the former team time trial world champions may have been disappointed with the result but that was not the case. There was plenty of back slapping and congratulating as the riders arrived back at the Team Sunweb van to clean off after a hard effort.

With some strong time trialling talent in Jumbo-Visma, Dumoulin was not surprised to see the Dutch squad at the top of the standings and is pleased to see how this team was going in their first team time trial of the season.

"In the end, we were missing out on a little bit of firepower but, all in all, I think that we can be happy especially with a young team like we have here. We have a couple of guys who have almost never done a TTT so it’s very satisfying," he explained.

"They have a really strong team with Tony Martin and Jos Van Emden, especially for the short distances, they have a really good team. If it was 50k up and down then we would have had a shot, but with this, it is not unexpected."

Arriving back after the time trial, Dumoulin was quick to ask which of his teammates planned to ride the 35 kilometres back to their hotel at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The UAE Tour is Dumoulin’s first race of the year after a stint training at altitude in Tenerife. Dumoulin might be keen to get in the additional training kilometres early in the season, but he’s adamant that he is here to work hard and doesn’t see this event as a training effort ahead of his major target of the Giro d’Italia in just over two months.

"I like to start my season here, I’ve done it the last couple of years but I’m also here to try and race hard and maybe win the GC with Wilco or me," said Dumoulin.

"I don’t look at all the races being build-ups towards that final goal. I always get questions like that but this race matters to me and that’s why I don’t do many races. I maybe do 60 race days in a year but all of them I want to perform."

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