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Tom Dumoulin casts doubt over Tour de France participation as knee injury persists

Joe Robinson
13 Jun 2019

Dutchman still struggling with splinter in right knee

Tom Dumoulin has cast doubts as to whether he will race the Tour de France next month as the knee injury that saw him abandon the Giro d'Italia continues to hinder him.

The Team Sunweb rider admitted to Dutch newspaper De Limburger that while the knee injury has improved, it hasn't yet done so to the point where he is sure he'll be on the start line at the Tour next month.

'Getting to the Tour should be OK but it depends on whether my knee is 100 per cent,' Dumoulin told the paper.

'If the knee doesn't improve, or I can't improve the shape I have now, then it doesn't make much sense to me to go.'

The Dutchman was involved in a big crash on Stage 4 of the recent Giro d'Italia. While he managed to finish the stage, he was visibly injured with a large cut to his right knee.

He attempted to start Stage 5 of the race but was eventually forced to abandon when it became clear the injury was too serious for him to continue.

At the time, it was expected that Dumoulin would refocus his season around the Tour yet the injury seems to be still hindering him with less than three weeks till the Grand Depart.

The 28-year-old has repeatedly told reporters at the ongoing Criterium du Dauphine that his knee is preventing him from riding at maximum capacity.

He finished third in yesterday's 26.1km individual time-trial – 47 seconds adrift of stage winner Wout van Aert – but complained at the finish that he was having to rely heavily on his left leg to compensate for the pain.

Dumoulin also cited the metal splinter that is still in his right knee as hampering his performance.

The 2017 Giro winner also said that he was feeling 'frustrated' by the fact this was holding back from racing for victories.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek, however, is more optimistic than Dumoulin, and was full of praise for his time-trial performance.

'Technically he did a very good time trial, his cornering was good and everything worked out well,' said Visbeek.

'He still needs to be in better shape to be riding for the win but we can accept this and we’re pleased with where he is.'