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Tom Dumoulin confirms defence of Giro d'Italia title

Joe Robinson
4 Jan 2018

A more favourable route sees Dumoulin choose the Giro d'Italia

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) will return to the Giro d'Italia in 2018 in an attempt to defend his title, potentially snubbing the Tour de France in the process.

At the team presentation in Berlin, the individual time trial World Champion confirmed he will look to win a second consecutive pink jersey but is unsure of whether he will go on to race the Tour.

Addressing the media, the Dutchman stated 'we looked at the courses of Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France and the Giro was more favourable to me. I'd like to go for the win again.'

He then added that his race programme would mirror 2017 with Strade-Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Liege-Bastogne-Liege all on the agenda.

As for the Tour, Dumoulin is still undecided when it comes to challenging for a maiden yellow jersey with the temptation of riding the Vuelta a Espana also a possibility.

Dumoulin's  ambition of retaining his pink jersey has previously come in for criticism from his compatriots.

It has been 38 years since the Dutch celebrated a Tour yellow jersey with Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 and many, including Zoetemelk himself, have called for Dumoulin to cast his focus on the French race.

Presenting Dumoulin with a Dutch sports award, Zoetemelk told the rider, 'The Tour is still of a different order than the Giro. You have proven that you are ready now.'

Prior to the route announcements of both races, it was expected that the current time trial World Champion would be solely riding the Tour de France.

However, with the Giro offering more individual kilometres against the clock and the Tour featuring an unpredictable first week that includes the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, it seems as if Dumoulin has been swayed to return to Italy.

So far, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Nairo Quntana (Movistar), Richie Porte (BMC Racing), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) are among the riders planning to go to the Tour.

For the Giro, it is expected that Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) will be among those battling for pink.

Chris Froome and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) are two of a select number of riders who could attempt both races.