Tom Dumoulin says he one day wants to ride Paris-Roubaix ‘like Bradley Wiggins’.
Dutchman Dumoulin has never ridden the cobbled Monument, but has revealed the race is on his bucket list.
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But the Grand Tour star said he wouldn’t want to race over the brutal cobbled sectors for fun, but would want to be a serious contender.
“I’d want to be at the start to get the most out of myself. I’m not just going to start somewhere because it’s fun.”
The Jumbo-Visma rider, winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, has focused on time trials and stage races for much of his career, but is looking ahead to how he would like to develop as a rider.
Dumoulin has only ridden one cobbled Monument in his career – the 2012 Tour of Flanders, in which he failed to cross the finish line.
But the 29-year-old has taken inspiration from British Tour de France winner and a fellow time trial specialist, Sir Bradley Wiggins, who turned his focus on the Classics late in his career.
Dumoulin said: “I really like how Bradley Wiggins handled it. For years he focused on winning a Grand Tour and on long time trials, that was his focus.
“Then he shifted that focus in the last two years of his career and became a Classics rider. I really liked that. I would like to do it that way.”
After winning the Tour in 2012, Wiggins targeted the Monuments until the end of his career in 2016, scoring an admirable ninth-place finish in Paris-Roubaix in 2014.
While Dumoulin is still focused on winning a second Grand Tour, having finished 2nd both in the 2018 Tour and the Giro before he was sidelined through injury through most of 2019, the former time trial world champion feels he could turn his talents to the chaos and tactics of Classics racing.
He has already tasted the dust of Roubaix however, as he was one of the many Grand Tour contenders taken to unfamiliar territory when the 2018 Tour hit the cobbles on stage nine, making it safely through to finish 19th on the stage.