'Not fit' Tom Dumoulin to miss Strade Bianche

UAE Tour 2022 - 4th Edition - 2nd stage Hudayriyat Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater 173 km - 21/02/2022 - Tom Dumoulin (NED - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) at the UAE Tour (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency2022)

After the announcement that Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) will miss out on competing at Saturday's Strade Bianche, Friday has also seen fellow star Tom Dumoulin ruled out of the race.

On Thursday, Dumoulin carried out a course recon in Tuscany alongside teammates from the men's and women's Jumbo-Visma squads, including 2018 winner Tiesj Benoot and Marianne Vos. However, news filtered through on Friday morning that he would not be taking part in the race, with his team first stating that he was "not fit and therefore won't start in Strade Bianche."

WielerFlits has reported that Dumoulin returned a positive COVID-19 test on Friday morning, though Jumbo-Visma could not confirm that to Cyclingnews, instead suggesting that Dumoulin would provide an update himself.

With Dumoulin out of Saturday's race, Benoot is now set to lead a six-man Jumbo-Visma squad himself with Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink, Koen Bouwman, Timo Roosen and Milan Vader supporting the Belgian.

So far in 2022, Dumoulin has taken part in the UAE Tour, where he took third in the mid-race time trial en route to a 41st place overall finish.

Dumoulin was below his best in the mountain stages at the week-long stage race, with team directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman suggesting earlier this week that the 31-year-old still needed "extra competition rhythm" before reaching his best form.

Pidcock and Dumoulin aren't the only big names to miss out on this year's Strade Bianche. Bora-Hansgrohe announced on Friday morning that Lennard Kämna will not take the start due to gastrointestinal problems, while DSM's Romain Bardet is also out due to sickness.

2021 winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won't be back to defend his title – he has yet to start his season due to recovery from an ongoing back problem, while Dumoulin's teammate, 2020 winner Wout van Aert, opted against including the race on his spring calendar.

The 2022 race will be headlined by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), world champion Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

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