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Yates and Dumoulin look set to snub Tour de France for Giro d'Italia in 2019

Joe Robinson
17 Dec 2018

Duo decide to head to Italy over France as competition for Giro hots up

Mitchelton Scott's Simon Yates and Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin have announced they will both return to the Giro d'Italia in 2019. The two riders join the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Mikel Landa at the Giro as the doors open up, again, for Team Sky domination at the Tour de France.

Yates's participation at next year's Giro was confirmed by his team on Monday morning with the Buryman looking to improve on his breakout performance at this year's edition.

The 26-year-old led the race for 13 stages, winning three stages in the process, before suffering an unceremonious downfall on Stage 19 of the race which saw him eventually finish 21st on General Classification and over an hour adrift of overall winner Chris Froome

While the Brit tasted redemption later in the season with a maiden Grand Tour victory at the Vuelta a Espana, he made clear his burning desire to return to the Giro in 2019 following unfinished business with the race.

'I’m looking forward to returning to the Giro d’Italia next year,' Yates said. 'It’s a race I have great memories from but one which also left a bitter taste in my mouth so I want to go back to try to finish the job off.

'I’m already working hard to arrive in great shape and I can’t wait for the season to begin. The Giro is always an extremely difficult race and next year, with three time-trials, it’s maybe not perfectly suited to me but we will still give it a real go and see what we can achieve.'

While Yates is unsure of whether three time-trials will play to his strengths, one man who is certain it will is Tom Dumoulin, as the 2017 pink jersey winner also announced his intentions to race the Giro next season. 

Confirmed over the weekend, the Dutchman claimed his decision to target the Italian Grand Tour over the Tour de France was due to a lack of individual time trial kilometres in the latter. 

The 2019 Giro d'Italia will contain three individual tests against the clock which amounts to 58.5km in total. The race begins with an opening day 8.2km time trial in Bologna before a potentially decisive 34.7km TT on Stage 9 in San Marino.

Finally, the race returns to the discipline on the final day for a potentially race winning 15.6km. 

By contrast, the 2019 Tour will feature just one individual time trial, 27km on Stage 13 in Pau, although will also have a 28km team time trial on Stage 2.

Talking on his participation, Dumoulin said, 'After weeks of talking about it, we finally decided the main focus will be the Giro d'Italia in 2019.

'We had the Tour de France for a long time in our head but the Giro is such a nice course this year.

'I really love Italy, I love the course, and I love the race. Afterwards it is very likely that I will do the Tour de France for GC, just like this year, but it's still undecided.'

Dumoulin and Yates will now join Vincenzo Nibali as the latest Grand Tour contender to snub the Tour for the Giro. The Italian confirmed last week that he intends to taper his season around a third victory at his home race. 

Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez also confirmed he will be heading to Italy in May while Movistar will send Mikel Landa and World Champion Alejandro Valverde to the race.

The quality of field at the Giro is likely to only assist Team Sky as they look to take a seventh Tour title in their last season of sponsorship.

So far, the team has confirmed Chris Froome will attempt a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey while defending champion Geraint Thomas is also expected to participate.