Tom Dumoulin has had to delay the start of his season again after pulling out of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana due to illness.
The Dutchman’s run of bad luck continues as he was due to make his return from a long-running injury last week, but was forced to fly home for recovery due to illness.
In an update posted on Instagram, Dumoulin said: “Unfortunately I had to abandon Valencia last week. I would have flown to altitude camp this Thursday to prepare for the next races, but we have to postpone until I feel 100 per cent again.
“We will change my racing schedule by skipping Tirreno and MSR to allow me the time I need to get back to full strength again.
“It’s such a shame because I was feeling amazing and I couldn’t wait for the season to start. Too bad I need to wait a little longer now.
“To quote the famous philosopher Run DMC: ‘it’s like that, and that’s the way it is.’”
Dumoulin, the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, had a rough 2019, suffering a nasty knee injury in the opening week of the Giro and being forced to abandon his plans for the year.
After a brief return at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the 29-year-old has been absent from the peloton to give himself a chance to recover.
During his rehabilitation, Dumoulin also made the major change by leaving Sunweb after seven years, joining the new Grand Tour power team Jumbo-Visma.
The 29-year-old is now expected to make his season debut at the Tour of the Basque Country, then heading on to the Ardennes Classics and the Dauphiné before he targets the Tour de France in the summer.