As preparations for the Tour de France take centre stage, Tom Dumoulin has admitted that his participation in the time trials at the Dutch National Championship and the World Championship now seems unlikely due to his busy competitive schedule.
Having enjoyed great success over the years in both competitions, the absence of Dumoulin will be notable in events he would otherwise have had a strong chance of winning. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old has expressed his intentions to focus all attention on the upcoming Tour de France, which is scheduled to commence on 29 August and conclude on 20 September.
The problem for Dumoulin is that the Dutch National Championships will be sandwiched between the Critérium du Dauphine and the Tour de France. Likewise, the Jumbo-Visma team plan to base themselves in France throughout this period of time, which also includes high-altitude training and preparation from Tignes. For those reasons, returning to compete in the Netherlands is impractical.
— The Cycle Collective (@cyclecollective) July 2, 2020
The World Championship time trial also clashes with the final day of the Tour de France. Dumoulin recently told Dutch news agency NOS that even if he’s not highly positioned in the general classification himself, he fully intends on finishing the race and helping his Jumbo-Visma teammates.
Depending on his performance at the 2020 Tour de France, attention for Dumoulin will then turn to whether he also competes in the 2020 Giro d’Italia or the 2020 Vuelta a España, given that scheduled dates for both events are set to overlap this year. The Giro is due to be held between 3 to 25 October, while the Vuelta starts on 20 October and concludes on 8 November, forcing many top riders to make hard choices.
Forced to withdraw from the 2019 Giro d’Italia following a crash in Stage 4 of the race, Dumoulin was unable to recover from his injuries in time to compete at the 2019 Tour. Fully fit this year and keen to make an impression, we can see from the latest cycling betting news for the 2020 Tour de France that, priced at 10/1, Dumoulin is considered to be a genuine contender for victory.
Tom Dumoulin was a 1,000-1 outsider before the Vuelta a España that kickstarted his career. How “The Butterfly of Maastricht” nearly pulled off the greatest shock in modern Grand Tour racing https://t.co/feBMJQcqGb pic.twitter.com/WseOg3ANq3
— Rouleur (@rouleur) November 25, 2019
Dumoulin is no stranger to competing well at Grand Tour events, it was a magnificent run to sixth position at the 2015 Vuelta a España, which demonstrated his potential. That potential was then realized with a magnificent victory at the 2017 Giro d’Italia, although he was narrowly beaten to second by Chris Froome at the following Giro in 2018.
At the 2018 Tour de France and still riding with Team Sunweb, Dumoulin finished second behind Geraint Thomas in the general classification race, whilst also winning the Stage 20 time trial between Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle and Espelette. Having since moved from Sunweb to Jumbo-Visma, who he once compared to being like the Real Madrid of cycle racing teams, Dumoulin is beginning to fancy his chances of a Tour victory.
Given his chances of challenging for general classification victory at the Tour de France this year, it’s no wonder Dumoulin has made this event his current priority. However, having previously won the World Time Trial Championships in 2017, along with the Dutch National Time Trial Championships three times (2014, 2016 and 2017), it’s unfortunate the contracted 2020 schedule means he won’t be able to compete in those events this year.