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Long time trials, check. Fewer “impossible” climbs, oui. Overall, it’s a more balanced route that would be perfect for Dumoulin and his ever-steady engine.
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Dumoulin said it was a mix of emotion and raw numbers.
“We looked at the options of going to the Tour. We already have a lot of GC riders who are aiming to go for the highest, s0 for me it’s the better choice to go to the Giro,” Dumoulin said Tuesday. “And because I love the race.
“The reason I am going to the Giro is because of my feelings toward the race, toward the country, and I have very good memories about the Giro.”
Jumbo-Visma is stacked with GC riders, and not everyone can go to the Tour.
For Dumoulin, a return to the Giro is also an ideal way to hit the restart button on his career following a few rough and tumble seasons.
Jumbo-Visma boasts the deepest bench in the WorldTour
Within the team GC hierarchy, Roglič is first in line to go for yellow.
He’s perhaps the lone rider in the bunch who can take it straight to Tadej Pogačar, and after winning three straight editions of the Vuelta a España, the Slovenian is betting everything on yellow in 2022.
There’s also Jonas Vingegaard, who hit second last year in his Tour debut. Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss, and Wout van Aert are all elbowing in for opportunities.
With fond memories of his Giro victory in 2017 and still honing his form following his early-season 2021 hiatus, Dumoulin had no problem raising his hand for a return trip to the corsa rosa.
“I am aiming for GC again,” he confirmed in a media call Tuesday. “It’s been a few years ago since I’ve done GC in grand tours. I think I still have it in me, it’s going to be 21 days full-gas.”
Dumoulin isn’t complaining about the Giro course, but it’s obvious that the Tour route — which brings the most TT kilometers in a decade in 2022 — would be better suited for him.
“I would hope for more TT kilometers, maybe they can change it a bit!” he said with a laugh about the Giro. “Of course, it’s my best weapon I have, and the more TT’s, the better. I am very confident in my climbing skills and on the shorter, explosive climbs. It’s not that I cannot do GC without a lot of TT kilometers, but of course, I would have liked more.”
Dumoulin’s ‘spring break’ paid off
Dumoulin, 31, vows he’s back at his best following his high-profile “stop” at the beginning of the 2021 season.
The Dutch star was burned out and needed to step back to reconsider everything. What he quickly found out is that he missed racing and training, the two things that were pushing him to the edge.
By April, he was back in the saddle and mounted what was one of the most unexpected surprises in 2021 by winning a silver medal in the Olympic time trial behind pro teammate Roglič.
“Not only did the break help me mentally, it really helped physically,” he said. “I was over-trained, and I could not recover after hard efforts. So taking that break really helped me.”
For 2022, Dumoulin will debut at the UAE Tour, then hit Strade Bianche, the Volta a Catalunya, Amstel Gold Race, and an altitude camp before dipping his toes back into the Italian cauldron that is the Giro.
Dumoulin’s 2022 racing schedule
Volta a Catalunya
Amstel Gold Race