Paris (AP) - After star Chris Froome the next co-favorite at the Tour de France must fit: Last year's second Tom Dumoulin will not fit in time for the Tour of France, which starts in Brussels on 6 July.
"After what happened at the Giro, I really wanted to go to the tour, but this week I realized that it's not realistic to be on my level in time," Dumoulin is quoted in a statement by his German Sunweb racing team.
"I worked so hard to get there, but I really need to listen to my body and free myself from pursuing an unrealistic goal," said Dumoulin. "Overall, the last month was extremely difficult with the setbacks in knee recovery."
The 28-year-old Dutchman crashed in the Giro d'Italia in mid-May and had to give up the race the next day with knee problems. Team doctor Anko Boelens also said that a timely recovery Dumoulins "just not possible" was. "Despite his strong will and ambition to ride the Tour de France, it is better to give up this goal for the year to achieve optimal recovery."
Prior to Dumoulin's refusal, Briton Froome, who had been heavily overthrown in the Dauphiné Tour, had already shelved his tour ambitions. The 34-year-old four-time overall winner of the Tour de France had fractures on the thigh, elbow and ribs. Froomes Ineos team-mate and France defending champion Geraint Thomas also crashed on Tuesday at the Tour de Suisse. The 33-year-old Welshman will probably be in France.