Tour de France 2020

Kruijswijk to miss Tour de France with shoulder injury

Third overall last year, the Dutch rider's absence will put a dent in Jumbo-Visma's plans for Tour assault.

Jumbo-Visma‘s plans to dethrone Team Ineos at the Tour de France just took a blow.

Steven Kruijswijk, the Dutch rider who finished third overall in 2019, will not start next week.

Kruijswijk last week crashed hard at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and confirmed Thursday a shoulder injury will keep him out of the Tour, which starts August 29 in Nice.

“To my great disappointment, I cannot participate in the Tour de France due to a fracture in the shoulder and the many abrasions,” Kruijswijk said Thursday. “The consequences of my crash turned out to be more serious than I had hoped.”

The 33-year-old went down in stage 4 at the Dauphiné last week at the French stage race that saw several other crashes involving high-profile riders. Initially, the team was hopeful that Kruijswijk would still be able to race the Tour.

Instead, he will recover and put a new focus on the Giro d’Italia. Norwegian helper Amund Grøndahl Jansen will replace him on the Jumbo-Visma’s eight-rider squad.

“Steven has done everything he could the past few months and sacrificed everything to start the Tour de France in top shape,” said sport director Merijn Zeeman. “He was perfectly on schedule. But top sport is tough. It is a great disappointment that we cannot continue with our plan.”

The setback for the rising Dutch team comes a day after Team Ineos reshuffled its Tour de France squad, leaving former winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas at home, and slotting in defending Giro champ Richard Carapaz to help support 2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal.

Jumbo-Visma was impressive at the Dauphiné last week, and seemed to be slicing through Ineos’s defenses with ease.

The team’s dominant performance — later undercut by the early exit of Primož Roglič who also crashed out last week — put everyone else in the peloton on alert that the Dutch outfit would be arriving at the Tour de France with a very strong team.

Kruijswijk was slated to be one of Jumbo-Visma’s GC leaders on a team that also includes Roglič and Tom Dumoulin. An ever-steady rider, Kruijswijk is one of the most experienced grand tour riders in the bunch. Though he’s never won a grand tour, his tenacity and consistency will be missed on the Dutch team.