Tom Dumoulin's debut Giro d'Italia got off to the perfect start with the Giant-Alpecin rider winning the stage 1 time trial on home soil to take the first maglia rosa of 2016. The 25-year-old came close to a second stage win on stage 4 to Praia a Mare before a saddle sore forced his abandon. A second appearance looks to be on the cards for Dumoulin, explaining he likes the look of the route for the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa.
"The course of the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia looks beautiful! Nicely balanced with sprint stages, quite some time trial kilometers, but some brutal and legendary climbing as well like the Mortirolo and the Stelvio on stage 16 for example," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"Climbing these monsters will for sure create some epic battles. Last year I trained near Bormio to prepare for the Vuelta 2015 so I'm quite familiar with those climbs and how exceptionally difficult they are."
Race director Mauro Vegni said at the route unveiling in Milan that 'whoever doesn't ride will miss out on a special race'. With the percorso likely to favour the climbers, the final day time trial in Milan offers Dumoulin an opportunity to emulate Ryder Hesjedal in 2012 and take the maglia rosa in front of Milan's Duomo.
On the announcement of the Tour de France route for 2017, the Vuelta a Espana route is likely to be announced in January, Dumoulin wrote "at first sight, a Tour de France that isn't perfect to me if I'll try to fight for the general classification because of the limited time trial kilometres."
While the Giro route appears better suited to his characteristics, Dumoulin explained his race programme and objectives will become clearer in the coming weeks once he sits down with his team and plans out the 2017 season.
"But still too early to say anything about which Grand Tour I will focus on next year. The Giro definitely looks appealing with the time trial kilometers, but eventually the race will be mostly decided in the big mountain stages. The team and I will discuss and decide somewhere the coming period," he added.