Tom Dumoulin evaluates possible nomination of Olav Kooij for Tour de France: "I think they will only take Kooij if it is really doubtful in what form Vingegaard will enter the Tour"

Visma | Lease a Bike already had a difficult selection puzzle heading into the Tour de France, and that puzzle did not become any easier on Thursday afternoon when another two riders from projected lineup crashed hard. Steven Kruijswijk and Dylan van Baarle abandoned Critérium du Dauphiné with fractures and even the form of designated leaders is still up in the air as they won't turn up to any competitions until Tour de France.

"It really is a difficult puzzle," said Tom Dumoulin as NOS analyst. Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte are currently at altitude in Tignes, but the question remains whether they will be ready in time for the Tour de France. Still, Dumoulin thinks that for the time being it is still the idea to let them start. "And then we have Matteo Jorgenson, Sepp Kuss and Tiesj Benoot racing here in the Dauphiné. Well, normally you would have added Van Baarle and Kruijswijk and then you had eight men for the Tour."

But replacements are needed for Van Baarle and Kruijswijk. The names of Jan Tratnik, Attila Valter, Ben Tulett and Wilco Kelderman are mentioned, but Dumoulin also thinks of the less-experienced Bart Lemmen and especially sprinter Olav Kooij .

"Kooij is of course not a helper, is he? You don't put Kooij in the front. You would have one less domestique for the GC. I think they will only take Kooij if it is really doubtful in what form Vingegaard will go to the Tour. Or if he doesn't go to the Tour at all. Then the young Kooij can save the Tour by winning a stage."

Dumoulin likes this 'Plan D'. "If you don't choose Vingegaard, you can go for a stage win and the green jersey with Kooij and Van Aert. And then Kuss and Jorgenson can fight for the top five and the polka dot jersey. If you take three stages and a top five place, then you can call it a very good Tour."

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