Kelderman to support Dumoulin at Giro and Tour

Wilco Kelderman will play domestique to Tom Dumoulin in 2019, accompanying his fellow Team Sunweb Dutchman at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Last month Dumoulin announced his decision to once again make the Giro the principal target of the coming season, though he is also planning to go on to target the overall classification at the Tour, having finished runner-up in both races in 2018.

Kelderman, who finished 7th at the Giro in 2014, has been Team Sunweb’s secondary Grand Tour leader for the past couple of seasons. After supporting Dumoulin to Giro victory in 2017, he finished fourth at that year’s Vuelta a España, and while injury prevented him from supporting Dumoulin at the Tour in 2018, he went back to Spain to record another top-10 finish.

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This year, the 27-year-old will not, in theory, have a chance to target a three-week race for himself, his team choosing instead to deploy him as Dumoulin’s right-hand man. The team’s Grand Tour plans were announced at a team presentation in Berlin on Thursday.

“I had a different program in my head, but when Tom decided to ride the Giro I knew it would be this scenario,” Kelderman said, according to De Telegraaf.

“I see it as an opportunity. At first I was not happy with it. But I also realise that there are enough races where I can go for my own success –  in Paris-Nice, for example, or the Volta a Catalunya. But in the Grand Tours I often ride as the second or third man. It might also suit me a bit. I often work best in the shadows.”

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com