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Tom Dumoulin retires from professional cycling with immediate effect

'The tank is empty,' says former Giro d'Italia winner.

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Tom Dumoulin has ended his professional cycling career with immediate effect. The 2017 Giro d’Italia winner was due to hang up his wheels at the end of the current campaign but decided to bring his retirement forward to August.

The news means that Dumoulin will not race the World Championships in Australia later this year. The event was initially set to be his final race as a pro rider.

“I decided to quit professional cycling with immediate effect,” Dumoulin wrote in a message sent out by his current team Jumbo-Visma.

“About two months ago I announced that I would retire as a professional cyclist at the end of the year. During last spring, despite my love for the bike, I noticed that things weren’t going how I wanted. I felt that I was ready for a new phase in my life. But, I still had one project on my wishlist to end my career with a bang; the World Championship in Australia. I wanted to tackle that road to the World Championship the way I tackled the road to the Tokyo Olympics. With a sense of freedom, on my terms, with the support of the team and with my intrinsic motivation as the main fuel. That’s what brought me back the joy of cycling back then,” he added.

“But I notice that I can’t do it anymore. The tank is empty, the legs feel heavy and the training sessions are not working out as I hoped and I also need to do a good performance and have a good feeling at the World Championship.”

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Dumoulin signed for Jumbo-Visma at the start of 2020 and rode the Tour de France that year. During the winter he decided to take a break from professional riding and focus on his mental health and wellbeing. He returned to action later that season and won a silver medal at the Olympics in the men’s time trial.

Coming into the 2022 season he made the Giro d’Italia a major ambition but he was unable to find his best form and eventually pulled out of the race. He bounced back to take second in the Dutch national time trial championships in June but had a limited race calendar through the summer. His last race came at San Sebastian at the end of July.

According to the 31-year-old a crash last season had long and difficult implications on his condition heading into this year.

“Since my hard crash in training last September, something has broken again. I had to interrupt my efforts to return to my old shape yet again and deal with another disappointment. It was one too many.”

Dumoulin was one of the best grand tour riders of his generation and, in addition to his Giro d’Italia victory, he finished second in both the Tour de France and the Giro during his long career. He won a time trial world title in 2017 and was seen as one of the few pro riders capable of challenging Team Sky during the team’s decade of dominance.

“Even though the farewell didn’t turn out the way I hoped, I look back on my career with incredible pride. I worked hard for it, took a lot of passion and pleasure from it for many years, and delivered brilliant performances. I will never forget that. Now it’s time to enjoy other things and be there for the people I love. A big thank you to my team and everyone who supported me during my fantastic career. And a special thank you to my wife, who had my back all these years.”

Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge paid tribute to his rider in a farewell message.

‘“We are sorry that Tom is ending his career with immediate effect, but we respect his decision. Tom has meant a lot to cycling fans, both in the Netherlands and worldwide. He can be proud of his career. We wish him all the best for the future,” Plugge said.