Tom Dumoulin undergoes minor surgery in battle for Tour de France fitness

Dumoulin is heading to altitude for his final training before the 2019 Tour

Tom Dumoulin during stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2019 (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) has undergone minor surgery as he continues to recover from a knee injury in time for the Tour de France 2019.

The Dutchman had said that if his knee didn't improve then riding the Tour, where he will be looking to improve upon his second place last year, "wouldn't make much sense".

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After medical examinations this week, where the irritation to his knee was confirmed, Dumoulin underwent surgery to remove what his medical team initially thought was a metal splinter but turned out to be a tiny shard of gravel.

Following the operation, Dumoulin went on a test ride that went well and was then cleared to travel to an altitude camp to prepare for the upcoming Tour de France, where he will lead his Sunweb team.

His condition will still be closely monitored but the signs are good already, according to his team.

The Dutchman had been suffering from this knee injury since he crashed on stage four of the Giro d'Italia 2019, abandoning soon into the next stage.

This shard of gravel had been the source of inflammation that forced Dumoulin to quit the Critérium du Dauphiné before stage seven to avoid further aggravating his knee.

Despite saying it would be difficult for him to get in shape for the Tour de France, Dumoulin travelled to the Critérium du Dauphiné to see how he would hold up, with his team monitoring his condition throughout the week. He was unable to mount a challenge in the overall classification, though, with Astana's Jakob Fuglsang winning the stage race.

The Team Sunweb doctor, Camiel Aldershof, explained that Dumoulin abandoning the race was more of a preventative measure, saying the team did not want to risk their rider's condition and that the week's racing had been "pretty satisfactory". Aldershof continued: "We’ve monitored the situation everyday and of course had ups and downs, but that was to be expected."

Speaking after Dumoulin's surgery, Aldershof said: "Tom underwent minor surgery yesterday, in which they removed what initially looked like a metal splinter, but was ultimately a tiny shard of gravel. We decided to remove the piece because it was causing a slight inflammatory reaction.

"Tom did a test ride this morning and all went well. He is now cleared to travel to altitude and continue his preparations. Progression will be closely monitored day by day, possibly adapting training plans accordingly, but the signs are good already."

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