Forget letting the road decide. Now, Tom Dumoulin decides.
The Jumbo-Visma rider says he needs to get better to stand a chance of winning the Tour de France, and at the moment it’s clear Primož Roglič is the strongest, de facto leader of the team. And the same goes for Egan Bernal and Ineos too.
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“What I’ve seen so far is that Primož is by far the strongest rider, and that’s nice. But as a team we are also very strong. So far we are right in the running to win this race,” Dumoulin said after Roglič extended his GC lead on stage three of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
“It’s not premature to say who our leader is for the Tour. I think it’s Primož, Bernal is Ineos’s leader, and hopefully me and Stevie [Kruijswijk] will improve and hopefully Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome won’t.
“It could be that the support leaders will be closer to the level of Primož and Bernal in the Tour, and then we’ll just have to see how that works.”
Wout van Aert also spoke of Roglič’s strength, adding that for the moment he is the strongest of Jumbo-Visma’s three leaders.
“We have three leaders but it’s clear for everyone that Primož is for the moment at least a bit stronger,” Van Aert said. “But on the other hand, the other two guys are also experienced and super strong. So to have them in the team as well is definitely a big advantage.”
The Dutchman was having a good day on stage two, the first big mountain day of the Dauphiné, before a bike change thwarted his chances of being at the pointy end of racing on the Col de Porte. He also recognises this is only his second race back since crashing out of the Dauphiné this time last year and still has work to do.
“Actually yesterday I had a better day, but I had to change my bike at the bottom of the climb and today I was a little less strong, but I was still up there, so it’s fine. But I definitely have to improve before the Tour,” he said after stage three.