Giant-Alpecin's Tom Dumoulin will wait for the routes of the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España to be announced before finalising his plan for 2017
A short time trial on stage one and a 23km test around Marseille on stage 20 are the only stages against the clock in 2017, with a focus more on short, sharp mountains set out by organisers ASO.
Dumoulin, who was in contention to win the 2015 Vuelta a España until the final stages and wore the leader’s jersey at the start of the 2016 Giro d’Italia, says he will wait for the other races to be revealed before deciding his plan.
He wrote on Facebook: “At first sight, a Tour de France that isn’t perfect to me if I try to fight for the general classification because of the limited time trial kilometres. On the other hand, there are not many uphill finishes so it’s not a Tour which is purely for the climbers either.
“It has a bit of everything so it’ll probably turn out be an unexpected and open race. That can make it very interesting.
“The opening time trial in Düsseldorf is very attractive to me, but if I focus on the general classification I expect my abilities in a short flat time trial will be somewhat affected by that.
“So, it’s a nice course, but I am not convinced yet to fully focus on the Tour de France next year. First I’ll wait for the Giro and the Vuelta courses before I and the team decide which three weeks Tour we go for next year.”
Tom Dumoulin wins stage nine of the 2016 Tour de France
Giant-Sunweb, as Dumoulin’s team will be known next year, have signed LottoNL-Jumbo’s Wilco Kelderman for the 2017 season, who could lead one of the Grand Tours, with Warren Barguil also on board and aiming for a high finish in the Tour de France.
Dumoulin chose not to target the Tour this season, as he focussed on the Olympic Games time trial – where he finished second. He won two stages in the race – the long climb to Andorra Arcalis on stage nine and the stage 13 TT – before breaking his arm in a crash on stage 19.