Tom Dumoulin will try to fight for a medal in today’s elite men’s time trial at the World Championships despite being struck by a buttock muscle problem during a final training ride on Tuesday, according to several Dutch media reports.
Dumoulin is considered one of the favourites for the 53km time trial in Richmond after winning the bronze medal in the 2014 Worlds and his strong performance in the recent Vuelta a Espana. He helped his Giant-Alpecin team finish fifth in Sunday’s team tine trial and is expected to challenge Tony Martin (Germany), Rohan Dennis (Australia) and Taylor Phinney (USA) for the medals and winner’s rainbow jersey.
However, Dumoulin struggled to ride on his time trial bike during a final training ride on Tuesday and returned to the Dutch team hotel in pain. It seems that he first felt the problem during the team time trial event on Sunday and the pain returned during his training ride.
"It already played up on Sunday in the team time trial. I had hardly any bother on Monday but it came back again today (Tuesday)," Dumoulin reportedly told Dutch national television channel NOS.
Despite the pain the Netherlands national coach Johan Lammerts said that Dumoulin would start the time trial. He is due to start at 2:42pm local time, one place ahead of last rider Tony Martin.
Dumoulin finished sixth at the Vuelta a Espana, going deep as he attempted to defend the race leader's red jersey after an impressive and aggressive performance for much of the race. He led going into the penultimate day after a dominant performance in the race's individual time trial.
“I had a good ride in the Vuelta so if I take that shape and bring it into Wednesday then I will be competing for the podium,” he told Cyclingnews in Richmond before news of his muscle problem emerged.
“However, it could be the case that I’m also tired and feeling the effects from the Vuelta and I could be left disappointed. Like I’ve said in other interviews though, the experience in the Vuelta brought me so much in terms of experience that it’s worth having the possibility of a disappointing Worlds for one year, maybe.”
Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of the elite men's time trial and you can read a preview and full start times right here.