After Tom Dumoulin abandoned the Giro in May due to injury, it looked like his Tour ambitions grew stronger. However, after setbacks continued for the Dutchman, Dumoulin made the difficult decision to pull out of the Tour before it even began. That leaves Sunweb without a marquee GC threat, though Wilco Kelderman will likely be tapped to fill the GC leadership role. Can Kelderman challenge for the win? We’re doubtful.
Dumoulin’s absence may mean that the team’s all-around sprinter Michael Matthews will attempt to dethrone the king of green, Peter Sagan, in the points competition. Matthews will be given resources to chase the green jersey, which he won in 2017. A versatile rider who can climb and sprint, Matthews may lack a few watts to Sagan in the final drag to the line. And should Matthews lack the high-end power, the team could also rely on its budding sprint star, Cees Bol, to challenge for victories in the bunch sprints. Bol may be a few watts behind Dylan Groenewegen, but the abandonment of Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria could open the door for him to shine.
Michael Matthews, Wilco Kelderman, Nicolas Roche, Søren Kragh Andersen, Lennard Kämna, Nikias Arndt, Chad Haga, Cees Bol