Giro champion still deciding on goals for 2018 season
The Tour de France route will be announced on Tuesday, October 17 and the Giro d’Italia route on Wednesday, November 29, with Dumoulin waiting until after these announcements before deciding on his main goal for the 2018 season.
“In truth, I haven’t decided [which race to do] yet. It depends on the routes,” the defending Giro champion told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’ve already fought for the GC at the Vuelta and the Giro, and not yet at the Tour. But if the Tour doesn’t have a route that suits me, then why should I go there next year looking to win? I loved the Giro, and I’d really like to go back there.”
Dumoulin took a slightly unexpected victory at the Giro d’Italia having gone into the race with odds of 14/1. However that would be the Dutchman’s only Grand Tour of the year, as he decided not to ride the Tour or the Vuelta, before crowning his season with a rainbow jersey as he took victory in the individual time trial at the World Championships.
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Since taking his maiden Grand Tour victory in June, Dumoulin has been tipped as a future Tour de France winner, with the potential to challenge Chris Froome at the Tour in 2018.
While the Tour is expected to suit a rolling 30km time trial on the penultimate day that could suit Dumoulin (as well as Froome), details of the Giro route are harder to come by, although Dumoulin would not rule out taking on two Grand Tours in a single year if the routes were suitable.
“Various riders have done it and are doing it,” Dumoulin continued. “Nibali targeted the Giro and the Vuelta this year, and he finished on the podium twice, so he had two excellent results. Yes, I’ll try it myself too, but I don’t know when.”
In 2018 Chris Froome became the first rider to win two Grand Tours in a year since Alberto Contador ten years ago, and the first rider to win two back-to-back Grand Tours in one year since Marco Pantani in 1998.