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Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin to miss Tour de France

June 20, 2019
FILE - In this Saturday July 28, 2018 file photo, stage winner Netherlands' Tom Dumoulin celebrates on the podium after the twentieth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, in Espelette, France. Dumoulin says he will not start this year’s Tour de France as he struggles to regain fitness following a fall last month in the Giro d’Italia. Dumoulin’s Team Sunweb announced Thursday, June 20, 2019 that Dumoulin, who finished second behind Geraint Thomas in last year’s Tour, would not be ready to start this year’s race on July 7 in Brussels. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)
FILE - In this Saturday July 28, 2018 file photo, stage winner Netherlands' Tom Dumoulin celebrates on the podium after the twentieth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, in Espelette, France. Dumoulin says he will not start this year’s Tour de France as he struggles to regain fitness following a fall last month in the Giro d’Italia. Dumoulin’s Team Sunweb announced Thursday, June 20, 2019 that Dumoulin, who finished second behind Geraint Thomas in last year’s Tour, would not be ready to start this year’s race on July 7 in Brussels. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin says he will not take part in this year’s Tour de France as he struggles to regain fitness following a fall last month in the Giro d’Italia.

Team Sunweb announced Thursday that Dumoulin, who finished second behind Geraint Thomas in last year’s Tour, would not be ready for the race, which starts July 6.

Dumoulin is the second big name to withdraw from the Tour, after four-time champion Chris Froome’s crash in training last week forced him out of cycling’s premier race.

The Dutch rider says “I’ve tried so hard to get there but I really have to listen to my body and release myself from chasing an unrealistic goal.”

Defending champion Thomas was also hurt in a crash this week at the Tour de Suisse, but he is still expecting to defend his title.

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