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by Shane Stokes
October 7, 2017
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Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin’s hopes of ending his season with a strong performance in Il Lombardia have been dashed due to illness, with the Dutchman set to miss the event.
In recent weeks Dumoulin showed his strong form winning the individual time trial and helping Sunweb to team time trial success at the world road championships. But, as team doctor Anko Boelens said on Friday, he won’t be able to profit from that condition on Saturday.
“Tom has woken up with flu and a sore throat and we have made the decision to take him out of the race,” he said. “He will need a few days of rest to be able to fully recover.” He will be replaced by Laurens Ten Dam.
The team’s Il Lombardia coach Aike Visbeek said that the change would force a readjustment of team plans. “With Tom not starting tomorrow we miss one of our leaders so we have taken another look at our tactical plan for the race,” he explained. “Although, with such a strong line-up, we are confident that we will end our time in Italy on a high.
“Warren [Barguil] remains our leader for the race and both Wilco [Kelderman] and Sam [Oomen] will now stay focused on supporting him for the final. After a strong ride at yesterday’s Milano-Torino, we would also like to have Chris [Hamilton] together with Laurens [Ten Dam] to help positioning the guys in the front. After doing a course recon we have seen that this is a really demanding course and we look forward to a challenging day tomorrow.”