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Dumoulin hints he will go all-in for 2019 Tour

After finishing second in both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2018, Dumoulin may focus solely on the yellow jersey in 2019.

Just days before the presentation of the 2019 Tour de France route, Tom Dumoulin has hinted he will put the yellow jersey at the center of his season next year.

The Sunweb star is waiting to see what the Tour organization comes up with on the October 25 presentation in Paris. All indications are that Dumoulin will target the yellow jersey as his primary goal next year.

“We haven’t made the final decision, but I would like to go to the Tour to win,” Dumoulin said in an interview with NOS. “I would not consider my career a failure if I do not win, but obviously I have been close, and I want to try again the next few years.”

Dumoulin, 28, was runner-up at the Giro d’Italia and Tour. He was also second in the world time trial race and fourth in the road race. It was a tremendous season without a major win, but Dumoulin said he has no regrets.

“No mistakes, no regrets,” Dumoulin added. “Froome and Thomas were stronger than me. The simple truth is that there was always someone a bit stronger than me.”

Dumoulin has the complete package to race and win grand tours. Arguably among the best time trialists in the world, he can climb with the elite of the peloton. Only a pure climber can drop Dumoulin on the steepest climbs.

Looking back at 2018, Dumoulin said he sensed that Froome was on the comeback after the Sky captain won the stage at Zoncolan. Froome later attacked over the Colle delle Finestre to bounce into the lead in what was the season’s biggest coup.

“When Froome won at Zoncolan, I never said it, but I knew it that Froome was back,” Dumoulin said. “Of course, it’s easy to say that I should not have waited [on Finestre] but based on what was happening in the moment, it was the best decision at the time. I had not planned on riding solo for 75km.”

Dumoulin has emerged as the most consistent and dangerous rival to Team Sky and Froome at the Tour. He won the 2017 Giro and surprised many by returning to the Italian grand tour instead of focusing solely on the Tour this season. He said the Giro-Tour double is unlikely in 2019 and admitted that he needs to focus on one goal rather than target everything.

“At the worlds, I noted that I had lost my explosiveness,” he said. “If I want to compete in one-day races, I need to change my training a bit.”

Sunweb has been busy refitting the team to give Dumoulin more support going into 2019 with several key signings.