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Tom Dumoulin and his on-again, off-again relationship with grand tours is very much a thing again.
The 2017 Giro d’Italia winner said he’s come out of his winter of discontent of a year ago that saw him step away from competitive racing for several months and vows he will race a grand tour to win in 2022 with Jumbo-Visma.
“I will ride for the classification in a grand tour in 2022,” Dumoulin told Dutch daily De Telegraaf.
Which one? He’s not sure yet.
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Dumoulin, 31, said Jumbo-Visma’s racing program is not fully sketched out yet for 2022.
That could open the door for Dumoulin to return to the Giro, which he won in dramatic fashion in 2017.
The ample kilometers of time trials at the 2022 Tour, however, could see the tall Dutchman tilt toward the yellow jersey as well.
“We have talked a lot about it in the team in recent months,” Dumoulin told the Dutch newspaper. “I think riding a classification is very special. That is the ultimate challenge, the pinnacle of cycling.”
Jumbo-Visma stood by Dumoulin as he struggled with motivation and stress last year, resulting in his abrupt departure from the peloton in January.
By June, Dumoulin had warded off his worst demons, and he was back to racing, quickly winning the Dutch national time trial championship and striking a surprise silver at the Olympic Games against the clock.
An injury ended his season in September just when he was regaining full steam.
“Last year in December I noticed that the feeling was not good, I was overtrained and very tired,” Dumoulin said. “Now I feel fit and comfortable in my own skin.”
Jumbo-Visma is hoping a happy Dumoulin can repay the team’s commitment with a return to form.
Going into 2022, Dumoulin is among only a handful of active riders who’ve won grand tours.