Tom Dumoulin suffered what he described as a “stupid fall” on stage two of the Tour de France.
The Dutchman is the latest Jumbo-Visma rider to have a hiccup as they prepare to mount a challenge for the general classification, with Primož Roglič having arrived in Nice bandaged up from his fall at the Critérium du Dauphiné and George Bennett going down hard on stage one of the Tour.
“It was a bit of a stupid fall,” Dumoulin said. “I don’t know exactly what happened. I looked to the left and at that moment Michał Kwiatkowski came by and before I knew it I was on the ground.
“Fortunately I have no pain, just bumped my knee a little. I think that’s okay otherwise. It will work out. Fortunately, I was able to return soon.”
Wout van Aert helped pace Dumoulin back up to the front group, and he arrived at the finish having lost no time, another day survived for the Dutch WorldTour team.
“Tom’s fall was a downside. As a result, we lost Wout who helped Tom get going again. I don’t think we could have competed for the win otherwise because there was no one left to ride behind those three,” said sports director Frans Maassen. “But the plan was to finish with Primož and Tom in the first group and we succeeded. We were in control all day and didn’t do anything too crazy. So in that respect the stage went well.
“The most important thing is that our riders are very strong and that we are in good shape. And we have faith in our plan. We took the initiative today in the places we wanted to get through safely. So that’s okay. It is also better to drive from the front than to chase the facts.”
The first real test of the GC contenders will come on stage four, with a summit finish on the category one Orcières-Merlette, where we may see the first showdown between Jumbo-Visma and Ineos.