Wout Poels: Tom Dumoulin is Froome's main rival in this Giro
May 03 2018 04:24 pm CET

Wout Poels: Tom Dumoulin is Froome's main rival in this Giro
Wout Poels: Tom Dumoulin is Froome's main rival in this Giro
Photo of Wout Poels by Jonathan Roorda / CyclingPub.com

Wout Poels, one of the key helpers for Chris Froome in the upcoming Giro d'Italia, sees compatriot Tom Dumoulin as his leader's key rival.

Poels hopes to help Froome win his third grand tour in a row, after also playing a key role in the Briton's Vuelta a España victory last September. But the Dutch doesn't think that it will be an easy challenge, with Dumoulin aiming to defend his title.

"Dumoulin won last year, so then you're the number one rival," Poels told Nu.nl in Israel.

"Normally Chris' weapon is that he wins time in time trials, but in this case you have to be happy if you even get the same time as Dumoulin. So Chris will need to take more time in the mountain stages in this Giro.

"In the last few years, Chris' tactic was usually to attack once in a mountain stage, gaining time on his rivals and then holding on to that until the end. He will probably need to attack more now to defeat Dumoulin, so we will have to adjust."

This Giro is expected to be the first major showdown between Froome and Dumoulin. The two riders met in grand tours more often, but never truly competed for the overall victory at the same time. In the 2015 Vuelta, where Dumoulin lost the lead in the final mountain stage, Froome had to abandon after a crash in the 11th stage.




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