Giant-Alpecin coach cautious about predicting Dumoulin’s Grand Tour future

Tom Dumoulin may have come close to winning the Vuelta a Espa a, but a Giant-Alpecin coach says that’s more down to the big names not being at full strength

Giant-Alpecin Coach Cautious About Predicting Dumoulin’s Grand Tour Future

Tom Dumoulin after losing the Leaders Jersey on Stage 20 of the 2015 Vuelta Espana

The Vuelta a Espa a came down to the wire this year, but the form and fitness of the overall contenders may have been lacking. Tom Dumoulin s team Giant-Alpecin1 trainer suggested that the circumstances may have allowed new stars to shine. Dumoulin, 24, was one of the surprise stars2 of this year s three-week Spanish tour. He morphed from time trialist to someone who can climb and contend for the overall. He led the race until the penultimate stage, the last mountain day, where he lost 3-52 minutes3 and the red leader s jersey to Astana s Fabio Aru.

He finished sixth overall the next day in Madrid. Besides Dumoulin, the race highlighted upcoming classification riders, 25-year-old Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE)4 and 23-year-old Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka). Chaves placed fifth and Meintjes 10th.

Comparing his numbers with what Warren Barguil5 Giant-Alpecin did last year in the Vuelta a Espa a, the level looked higher last year, team coach, Adriaan Helmantel told Cycling Weekly.

You can see that Joaqu m Rodr guez,6 Alejandro Valverde7, and Nairo Quintana are not performing at the same level as they did in the Tour de France. The combination of things was good for Tom.

Giant-Alpecin Coach Cautious About Predicting Dumoulin’s Grand Tour Future

Fabio Aru and Tom Dumoulin on stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana (Watson)

Quintana, Valverde and Rodr guez raced to second, third and 29th overall8 in the Tour, respectively. Sky s Chris Froome, Tour winner, crashed and abandoned the Vuelta in the second week. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) also went home after a crash. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), fourth in the Tour, was disqualified on the second day9.

The combination of factors opened the door for some new names. Dumoulin crashed and abandoned the Tour on stage three, but he came to the Vuelta prepared. Still with some of the benefits of a pre-Tour altitude camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain, in his legs, he travelled to the thin air of Livigno, Italy, to train.

He had a good development in training and the level of competition was good for his performance, Helmantel said.

Then he improved and became motivated to fight for it. It s really good, but not that we are blown away. The difference this time was that he was consistent for three weeks.

Though Dumoulin lost the red jersey and slipped out of the top three, people are still talking about what he could do in the Tour de France10 with the right parcours. Several, including Sky Principal David Brailsford, say that Dumoulin could improve his climbing11 while maintaining his time trial strengths, la Bradley Wiggins, to compete for the Tour.

To win the Tour? That s a big step to make, Helmantel said. Helmantel explained that Dumoulin has to reach a higher level, one like his Vuelta competitors had in the Tour.

He definitely needs to make steps in that direction. It s possible, but it s also possible that his level will stabilise and he can t do it.

It s difficult to predict, but I don t see as impossible.

References

  1. ^ Giant-Alpecin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Dumoulin s Vuelta performance has the Dutch dreaming of Tour de France glory (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Tom Dumoulin deeply disappointed with Vuelta a Espa a loss (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Esteban Chaves earns extended contract with Orica-GreenEdge after Grand Tour breakthrough (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Watch: Warren Barguil has close shave with cows on the Tourmalet (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Joaqu m Rodr guez, (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Alejandro Valverde (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ Team Sky and Movistar dominate Tour de France prize money list (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Nibali: People are treating me like I m a monster after Vuelta expulsion (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ what he could do in the Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ say that Dumoulin could improve his climbing (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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