'Flu and sore throat' rules Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin out of Saturday's Il Lombardia
The Dutchman’s Team Sunweb outfit issued a brief statement on Friday saying that Dumoulin was suffering with flu-like symptoms.
“Tom has woken up with flu and a sore throat and we have made the decision to take him out of the race,” said Sunweb doctor Anko Boelens. “He will need a few days of rest to be able to fully recover.”
Dumoulin posted on Twitter: “Unfortunate that my season ends this way, but when the body speaks, you better listen. Finally time for some rest and reflection!”
Dumoulin was one of the star riders going into the final Monument of the 2017 season, leaving the squad to rearrange its tactics. Laurens Ten Dam will take Dumoulin’s spot in the line-up.
“With Tom not starting tomorrow we miss one of our leaders so we have taken another look at our tactical plan for the race,” said Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek.
“Although with such a strong line-up we are confident that we will end our time in Italy on a high.”
Frenchman Warren Barguil will spearhead Sunweb’s assault on the 247-kilometre race from Bergamo to Como.
“Warren remains our leader for the race and both Wilco [Kelderman] and Sam [Oomen] will now stay focused on supporting him for the final,” said Visbeek.
“After a strong ride at yesterday’s Milano-Torino, we would also like to have Chris [Hamilton] together with Laurens to help positioning the guys in the front. After doing a course recon we have seen that this is a really demanding course and we look forward to a challenging day tomorrow.”
Leading contenders for Il Lombardia include Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Fabio Aru (Astana), Michal Kiwatkowski (Team Sky), Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott).
Dumoulin’s withdrawal means that his last race for 2017 was Thursday’s Milano-Torino, where he was among the non-finishers.