Tom Dumoulin says it will be difficult for him to get to the Tour de France in good shape

The Dutchman is still recovering from a crash that saw him abandon the 2019 Giro d'Italia

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) says “it will be difficult” for him to be in good shape for the Tour de France after his Giro d’Italia crash last month.

The Dutchman, second in the 2018 Tour de France behind Geraint Thomas (Ineos), is using the Critérium du Dauphiné as a test, with the French stage race starting tomorrow in Aurillac.

>>> Critérium du Dauphiné 2019 start list: Froome, Porte, Bardet & Quintana go head to head

“If it is really disappointing, it will be difficult to get the Tour in good shape,” Dumoulin told Dutch cycling website In De Leiderstrui

“Then I might have to adjust my ambitions. Two weeks ago I thought I would have no more doubts, but I have those doubts.”

Dumoulin crashed in stage four of the Giro d’Italia on its way to Frascati. The next morning, under heavy showers, he quit the race before kilometre zero.

“I still have some fluid in the knee and the cartilage is a bit damaged. It was a big bone bruise,” he continued.

“I was able to train really well last week, but I did notice it. I noticed that I had more problems in the last hour than in the first hour. That’s not ideal.”

Last week, Team Sunweb Coach Hendrik Werner said that Dumoulin could get to the Tour de France in “good shape”, with the French Grand Tour starting on July 6 in Brussels.

Dumoulin will assess his condition after a few days in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he will face many of his Tour rivals including Chris Froome (Ineos) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

“If I find out after a few days in the Dauphiné that it causes too much pain, it may be causing too much damage to my cartilage. If I have too much pain after a few days, I have to get off,” he added. “But last week it went fine, I hope I can continue that way.”

Dumoulin won the 2017 Giro d’Italia, and placed second in both the 2018 Giro and 2018 Tour. He closed out last year’s Tour de France with a time trial stage win in the rainbow jersey.

“Am I favourite? That seems a bit premature to to say. That’s not how I feel at the moment,” Dumoulin explained. “But I hope that it can change in the coming weeks.”