“There is improvement and I am happy with that," Dumoulin said in a report on AD. "It doesn't really surprise me. I felt a little better this week. I am not yet at the level that I will need at the Games. But that also makes sense. If I'm really in top form, I would have competed here for the win. After the first time trial I already felt that there is a basis to build on. That feeling is only stronger now.”
Dumoulin returned to competition at the Tour de Suisse after taking a leave of absence from professional sport in January. His goals have been placed on competing in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.
The Tour de Suisse hosted two time trials as part of the eight-day event where Dumoulin finished 16th in stage 1's 10.9km event in Frauenfeld and he followed that with 5th place in stage 7's 23.2km event from Disentis Sedrun to Andermatt.
"Up and down, I can do that well. The last kilometre was really raking to the top. I really couldn't move forward. I lost a lot of time there. The first kilometres of the descent you had to pedal hard. But I couldn't. I thought, if I make myself as small as possible, maybe I won't lose so much time," Dumoulin said of the stage 7 time trial where he finished 56 seconds behind stage winner Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo).
The stage 7 route included a climb over Oberalppass (9.5km at 6.5 per cent) followed by a downhill to the finish line in Andermatt. Many of the contenders opted to use their road bikes, however, Dumoulin chose to race on his time trial set-up.
"For me, it is important to make kilometres on my time trial bike. After the recon this morning, I was sure of that. That's the best option for me. I get my power off well on that time trial bike.”
There is one stage remaining in the Tour de Suisse on Sunday before Dumoulin will turn his attention toward the Dutch National Championships, which will be his final time trial before the Olympic Games.
"I have worked well on my form here. The two tests in the time trials went well. Ideally, the Dutch National Championships would have been a little later. But oh well, for me it's important to recover well now. I think I'm going to be pretty screwed after this week."
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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