During the Tour de France, the team (including Dumoulin) was still employed by Primoz Roglic, who lost the yellow to eventual winner Tadej Pogacar on the penultimate day.
“That was painful but also part of racing,” said Dumoulin. “I have accepted how it turned out,” said Roglic in turn. “It seems that the third week of the Vuelta is a bit less difficult. Maybe that’s beneficial for me. Tom and I are the leaders of our team here in the Vuelta. If it turns out who is the best, then the whole team works for the best. ”
The 30-year-old Roglic starts as defending champion on the first hilly stage from Irun to Arrate. Dumoulin sometimes thinks about five years ago, when he lost his red leader’s jersey in the last mountain stage. “But I also won two stages and almost the whole round,” he said. “I’m still proud of that.”
Dumoulin thinks that the competition for him and Roglic comes from Thibaut Pinot, Alejandro Valverde and Richard Carapaz. “Furthermore, I do not know how Chris Froome is doing,” he said about the Brit who is leaving Ineos Grenadier after ten years. “He remains one of the best riders in recent years.”
The preparation for the Vuelta was not ideal, Dumoulin knows, with the last stage of the Tour still fresh in the back of his mind. “I took two weeks off and drove Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” he said. “But all participants have the same problems. All matches come in quick succession. But now that we’re here, it would be a shame if we didn’t do everything we could to win this Vuelta. This is just another opportunity for us. ”
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