Dumoulin crashed out of the Giro d’Italia in May but is likely to use the Critérium du Dauphiné as a stepping stone towards the Tour de France in July. He finished second in the Tour last year behind Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos).
“The Critérium du Dauphiné presents a challenging course throughout the race with a particularly difficult final stage. Our main focus will be stage success and we aim to achieve that by riding both offensively and attentively throughout the week. The early stages will be contested by Joris and Capser, who are both in great shape with some solid results in recent races. If all continues according to plan, Tom will make his return to racing at the Dauphiné after injuring his knee at the Giro d’Italia,” Sebastian Deckert, one of the Sunweb’s coaches confirmed.
Dumoulin crashed heavily on stage 4 at the Giro and badly injured his right knee. He limped over the line but lost significant time. Although he started the following stage he pulled out almost instantly.
“His recovery has been slower than we hoped for and he will undergo a final MRI scan tomorrow [Thursday], as a final check before he heads to France. Then he will use Dauphiné to get back into racing rhythm for bigger goals in July. We’ll take a day-by-day approach, taking no risk and with no focus on the GC. Alongside Tom we also have Martijn [Tusveld] back from injury which is great, and Robert [Gesink] fully recovered, after his Giro was also ended early after a crash,” Deckert added.
Dumoulin will be joined on the start line at the Critérium du Dauphiné by Johannes Fröhlinger, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Casper Pedersen, Robert Power, Florian Stork, and Martijn Tusveld.
It’s expected that Michael Matthews will take part in the Tour de Suisse later this month, while there is no set date on a return to racing for Wilco Kelderman. The Dutchman has been out of action since stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya, where he crashed and broke a collarbone and suffered fractured vertebrae.
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