Tom Dumoulin reportedly will return to race the 2018 Giro d’Italia and defend his title, despite some speculation to the contrary.
According to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Dumoulin and Team Sunweb have confirmed his participation to the Giro organisers.
Dumoulin won this year’s Giro by 31s from Nairo Quintana with Vincenzo Nibali a further 9s behind. The 2018 route includes one 9.7-kilometre time trial stage to open the race in Jerusalem and another 34.5-kilometre time trial in the third week.
“For me, it would be a surprise if Dumoulin would go to the Giro because I think he’ll race the Tour de France, it’s a logical step in his career to go every year to a bigger tour,” Dutch journalist with De Telegraaf, Raymond Kerckhoffs said. “In the Giro, there’d be more pressure on him. If he doesn’t win then everything is worse than last year.
“Also, if you see the comments of everyone in the team in last week, then everything points in the direction of the Tour. Wilco Kelderman explained that he’d prefer to be the leader of the team in the Giro and then helping Tom in the Tour.”
Dumoulin will announce his decision January 4 at Sunweb’s 2018 roster presentation in Berlin.