Tom Dumoulin to retire at the end of the season
'I feel happy and grateful and I now already look back on my career with a lot of pride,' says Dutch rider.
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Tom Dumoulin has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2022 season.
The 31-year-old made the official announcement on his own social media channels, ending the speculation around his future.
Dumoulin went into the Giro d’Italia in May with faint hopes of challenging for the maglia rosa but the Dutch rider faded in the mountains before eventually pulling out of the race. While the news of his retirement comes as a surprise it was clear that the former Giro winner was at a crossroads in his career.
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He took a break from professional cycling at the start of 2021 citing personal reasons and missed the first half of the year. He came back in the summer to win a silver medal in the time trial at the Olympic Games in Tokyo but he was never able to recapture the road form that saw him become one of the leading grand tour riders in the peloton.
Dumoulin’s current contract with Jumbo-Visma expires at the end of the current campaign, and that certainly would have factored into any decision.
“I decided that 2022 will be my last year as a professional cyclist,” Dumoulin wrote on Instagram.
“In 2020 I had a very difficult year and at the end of that year I got overtrained and burned out. At the end of 2020, beginning of 2021 I was only a shadow myself and thus decided at the time to take [a] break away from cycling to think about my future.”
“But despite how good it occasionally still was: many times, and especially this year, it has been a frustrating path, at which my body felt tired and still does feel tired. As soon as the load in training or races gets higher, I suffer fatigue, aches, and injuries instead of improving. The effort in training did often not lead to the desired performances. For a while now there has been a disbalance between my 100 percent dedication, everything that I do and sacrifice for my sport, and what I subsequently get out of it in return.
“With a lot of patience and a very cautious approach, I’m convinced that I could get back to my full potential on the bike. But that would be a long and patient road, with no guarantees on success. I choose not to take that road, but to quit my active cycling instead and to take a new and unknown path.”
Dumoulin’s race schedule for the remainder of his final season has yet to be confirmed but the rider has said he will target the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Australia later this year. He has no plans beyond this year once he finally hangs up his wheels and retires.
“I don’t know yet what I want to do after my active cycling career, and I also don’t really want to know at this moment. But I do know that my love for the bike will always keep me connected to the world of cycling one way or another. I’m very curious what the future will hold for me. I feel happy and grateful and I now already look back on my career with a lot of pride.”