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Dumoulin’s black season continues with future in limbo

With his season all but over, the Dutch star is mulling a change of team colors to kick-start his suddenly stalled career

Tom Dumoulin’s black summer continues with news that his racing season is likely over for 2019.

Just a year after finishing second in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, as well as scoring silver medals in both the road race and time trial at the 2018 world championships, it’s possible the ever-consistent Dumoulin will not race again this season.

In fact, the Dutchman’s entire future is in limbo following reports that he could switch from his longtime home at Sunweb to Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma next season despite having one year remaining on his contract.

Sunweb officials confirmed Monday to the Dutch daily AD that Dumoulin would not start the Vuelta a España later this month, saying, “The focus is on recovery and the Vuelta comes too soon.”

Dumoulin, 28, last raced in June when he did not start stage 7 at the Critérium du Dauphiné, complaining of knee pain linked to a crash that saw him KO’d from the first week of the Giro in May.

The nagging knee injury, which required minor surgery in June, revealed some deeper problems than initially believed. Dumoulin was forced to miss the Tour de France, and he’s since curtailed serious training as he recovers.

And it’s increasingly possible he will not be in condition to compete at the world championships in September on a demanding course in Yorkshire. Dutch national coach Koos Moerenhout told local media Dumoulin is not a guaranteed selection, especially if he is not fully fit. Budding superstar Mathieu van der Poel is expected to lead the Dutch squad in the road race.

Rumors are also flying that the Dutch star is no longer content at Sunweb, where he’s raced since turning pro in 2012. Dumoulin is reportedly unhappy with the level of support he’s received during grand tours.

VeloNews contributor Gregor Brown reported last month that a move from Sunweb to Jumbo-Visma is all but done. Right now, Dumoulin seems to be waiting for Sunweb to agree to the terms of his early exit from a current contract that runs through 2020.

There is no official confirmation of a Dumoulin-Sunweb divorce, but with his season all but over, Dumoulin could be hoping to hit the re-set button in 2020 in more ways than one.