Dumoulin, Team Sunweb unsure on Tour de France ambitions

The 2019 Tour de France route, packed with climbing but with fewer time trial kilometres, is not what Team Sunweb and Tom Dumoulin had hoped for.

The Dutchman finished second in the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2018, and seemed ready to focus fully on the French Grand Tour in 2019. However, after seeing the route of the 2019 Tour de France, team manager Iwan Spekenbrink put off any final decision and even hinted that the Dumoulin may again target the Giro d’Italia in 2019, putting off a fully blown attempt at winning the Tour de France until 2020. 

“Our goal is to perform in Grand Tours", Spekenbrink told Telegraaf.nl. "We want to achieve podium places and go for the win. The ultimate goal is to put everything on the Tour once. In that respect, the next two or three years will be important for Tom."

“But we should not let ourselves be fooled. Tom also wants to thinking carefully about things. We are going to put the heads together and also wait for the Giro route. So give us a little time, but our ambitions are known.”

Dumoulin, who is on his honeymoon and did not attend the presentation in Paris, issued a statement saying: “More time trial kilometres would have been good for me, this course is not ideal for me, but that was not the case this year.”

The 2019 Tour de France route has only 54km of time trials, 27 km each in the stage 2 team time trial in Brussels and the individual time trial in Pau. 

"It could have been better, but I'm not disappointed.” Spekenbrink said in Paris. “It will be a Tour for climbers. There are a lot of heavy mountain stages and few kilometres against the clock.

"Tom has proven this year he can climb with the very strongest. Looking at the course, Tom also has no weak points. But of course we would have liked to see his strengths being better utilised."

The route of the 2019 Giro d'Italia will be presented on Wednesday October 31 in Milan.

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