Tom Dumoulin was happy to arrive in South Africa for some altitude training, but was not happy to find that his bike frame had broken during the flight. The Team Sunweb rider is preparing for his season opener Abu Dhabi Tour with a further eye on the Giro d'Italia.
"I can ride with it carefully, but it's not ideal, of course," he told telesport.nl. All is not lost, though. On Monday "a new frame should be there, fortunately."
The 26-year-old started off his visit to South Africa with a tour of the Kruger National Park. “Easy to forget what we're here for haha... I think I'll remember after a few hard days on the bike #southafrica #trainingcamp," he tweeted on Saturday.
He followed that with a tweet on Sunday disclosing his bike problem. "This place is heaven! Although a broken frame in the plane is keeping my mood down. Hope to get a new one here soon! #southafrica".
Dumoulin last year won the opening time trial of the Giro d'Italia and wore the leader's jersey for six stages. He also won two stages of the Tour de France. This year he aims to test himself as GC candidate in a grand tour. He and his team selected the Giro again, since it offers more time trial kilometers than the Tour. "I really love the Giro, the atmosphere and I can't wait to go back."
He will open his season at Abu Dhabi, before moving on Italy and the Strade Bianche. Dumoulin will give himself his first test at Tirreno-Adriatico, with Milano-Sanremo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege also on his calendar before the Giro.