World Championships: Dumoulin goes into TT unknown after draining Vuelta a Espana

After a gruelling outing at the Vuelta a Espana, Tom Dumoulin’s current condition is somewhat of an unknown. Of course, he came on leaps and bounds with a GC performance full of gusto and verve, but even the rider himself isn’t quite sure how he has recovered from the three weeks of racing.

The 24-year-old was on the verge of sealing a famous Vuelta win but cracked dramatically on the penultimate stage and eventually slipped to sixth overall. On paper he comes into Wednesday’s individual time trial at the World Championships as a genuine medal favourite but the question is whether his form has held or declined since Spain. The team time trial gave few clues, with the Dutchman not finishing with the top five Giant Alpecin riders, although he did take huge pulls on the front during the race.

“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.

“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.”

The time trial course in Richmond certainly suits Dumoulin’s style of riding, and after picking up a bronze last year he will start with a certain level of expectation and pressure on his shoulders. Tony Martin, Taylor Phinney and Rohan Dennis are the other major contenders, while the Worlds also has a habit of throwing up one or two surprises.

“The course suits me. It’s definitely a lot more up and down than I expected it to be . I expected a flat, straight forward TT but it’s not like that. In the beginning it’s really hard and that’s something that will certainly suit me.”

Dumoulin will also race the road race on Sunday. He doesn’t feature in the list of favourites for that event but he could certainly factor in how the race is decided, should the Dutch squad - as expected – push for an aggressive race.

“It’s not just about Wednesday. It’s also about Sunday and I’m hoping that I still have some Vuelta shape left for two more race days. I’m happy with how things are going.”

Releasing data files

After the Vuelta, Dumoulin also confirmed that he would release sections of his data to the press. His Vuelta performance – in the mountains at least – came as a surprise to many, so as a result he went on the front foot and decided to open up his data files.

“I couldn’t think of a reason not to. I don’t want to release data from my time trials because then my rivals will see how I pace myself and my aerodynamics but the rest can be seen. You can already see a lot of it, with the Watts on a climb, and a lot of it is very comparable with what’s on my power meter. I think it’s a good thing to do,” he told Cyclingnews.

“Actually a lot of riders are on Strava so it’s not completely new. I’m not after applause, and if some riders don’t want to do this, it’s also fine. It’s strange if they don’t.”

Dumoulin drew the line at blood passport data, stating that privacy of medical records should be respected.

“I don’t think so. I think we should still have a bit of privacy. Blood data I think is going one step too far.”

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