The Dutchman fell on his knee at the Giro d’Italia, leaving the race on stage 5. He turned his focus to the Tour de France, but he has not been able to recover as quickly as hoped. He lined out at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné but was forced out after five stages as the knee flared up again. He underwent surgery on Sunday to remove a shard of gravel and was passed fit to head for an altitude training camp, but turned around en route to the French Alps.
Earlier this week, Team Sunweb said the camp had been postponed “by a few days”, but on Thursday it was announced that Dumoulin will definitely not be riding the Tour de France.
“The last month has been extremely difficult overall, and with the setbacks in the knee recovery. After what happened at the Giro I really wanted to go for it in the Tour, but this week I realised it’s just not realistic for my level to be there in time,” Dumoulin said.
“I’ve tried so hard to get there but I really have to listen to my body and release myself from chasing an unrealistic goal.”
It’s a bitter setback for the 28-year-old Dutchman, who finished runner-up at both the Giro and Tour last year, having won the Giro in 2017. He was set to go for the double once again, but when he left the Giro so early it was expected he would be an even bigger threat in July.
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