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Photo courtesy Team Sunweb

Dumoulin confirms Giro-Tour double bid for 2019

After taking runner-up honors in both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, Tom Dumoulin will again race the double in 2019.

PARIS (AFP) — Dutchman Tom Dumoulin will again race both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2019 after coming second in each last season.

Dumoulin is seen by many as one of the world’s best all-rounders, behind Chris Froome, who won the Giro, and his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour. Dumoulin won the Giro in 2017 and is known to have a fondness for the Italian event, which will run May 11-June 2, 2019.

“I was concentrated on the Tour in 2018, as was my team [Sunweb],” Dumoulin told journalists at a press event in Berlin to present the 2019 team and program.

“But this Giro route looks very interesting, while the Tour route this year seems extremely hard,” explained the 2017 world time trial champion.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia includes three time trial stages, which will suit Dumoulin, who won the 2017 Giro on the final-day time trial to Milan, beating Nairo Quintana (Movistar). The next Tour de France, on the other hand, has only one individual time trial, just 27 kilometers in length.

Before the Tour route was announced, Dumoulin hinted that he’d focus strictly on the French grand tour in 2019.

Later, in mid-December, after a climber-friendly Tour route was revealed, he said the Giro was instead his priority, but at that point, he did not confirm he would also start the Tour in July.

“As I totally love the Giro, I’m absolutely delighted with the decision,” said Dumoulin.

Another grand tour star, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will also race both the Giro and the Tour. The Italian has won all three grand tours over the course of his career.