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Sky mastermind points to Dutchman as future conqueror of grand tours.

Photo: Sirotti






22.07.2016 @ 08:08 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

If you subscribe to the opinion that the leader of team Giant – Alpecin, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, has what it takes to conquer a grand tour sometime in the not too distant future, you find yourself in excellent company. Dumoulin is arguably one of the best time trialists in the peloton today and while he may not be a pure climber, he can certainly hold his own in the mountains. Add to that an ability to handle the attention and his media savvy and you might just be looking at a future Tour de France winner.


Sir David Brailsford, Sky boss and mastermind behind Froome’s two Tour victories and Bradley Wiggins’s win in 2012, has been quick to praise the 25-year-old from Maastricht and hail him as a potential grand tour winner.


“He’s a very strong challenger for the future, he has all the attributes necessary,” Brailsford told Velonews. “He needs to climb better, but he time trials out of this world. He’s complete. I’m sure he can do it.”


Although Dumoulin just lost the stage 18 mountain time trial to Chris Froome yesterday, he already won the Arcalís summit finish and Le Caverne de Pont d’Arc time trial in this year’s Tour.


Rio remains overall objective

Upon hearing Brailsford’s words of praise, Dumoulin said, “David has confidence in me, but I do hope to lose weight in the future so I can really compete in the grand tours,” Dumoulin said. “So far my climbing abilities aren’t good enough to compete yet. It’s getting close, but to compete for the podium at the Tour de France, I need to make another step,” Dumoulin continued. “We are getting close. You can see today, as well, with a climbing time trial, I’m second. But there’s also a difference between this and going full-gas every day for three weeks. I need to make another step.”


For Dumoulin, the individual time trial at the Olympic Games in Rio remains the main objective of the season. Quizzed about whether he wanted to abandon the Tour to fully focus on his Olympic commitment, Dumoulin said, “I hope I can keep myself out of the red zone in the coming days, finish the Tour, take a good recovery afterwards and hopefully, I’ll be flying in Rio. Like you see today, it’ll be a hard fight in Rio.”


It seems to be a matter of time, though, before Dumoulin will up his game and turn his attention to the overall classification of grand tours, perhaps starting in 2017.


“I’m a good rider when I really go for it in a time trial or in a mountain stage, but I definitely need to make another step if I want to go for the GC in a grand tour,” Dumoulin said. “I’ll need to lose weight and climb better to make that step.”





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