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Tom Dumoulin announces retirement with immediate effect

“The tank is empty, the legs feel heavy” says Giro d’Italia winner and ex-World Time Trial champion

Tom Dumoulin has announced that he has “decided to quit professional cycling” with immediate effect, rather than continue racing until the end of the season, when he had planned to try and regain the World Time Trial championship he previously won in 2017.

The 31 year old Team Jumbo-Visma rider, who took the overall at the Giro d’Italia the same season, said in a statement released via Twitter: “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,” saids Dumoulin who had taken an indefinite break from cycling earlier in 2021.

By building up to the Road Worlds in Woolongong, New South Wales, in the same way, he said today that he had hoped to find “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 that time.

“But I notice that I can’t do it anymore,” the Dutchman continued. “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.

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

“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, ad delivered brilliant performances,” he added.

“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,” Dumoulin concluded.

Following his overall victory at the Giro d’Italia in 2017, the then Team Sunweb rider finished runner-up in two Grand Tours the following season, missing out both times to riders from Team Sky (now Ineos Grenadiers) as Chris Froome won the Giro in spectacular fashion, and to Geraint Thomas at the Tour de France.

While the majority of his career wins came in individual time trials, he also won summit finish stages in each of the three Grand Tours, as well as the overall title at the BinckBank Tour in 2017.

He was twice silver medallist in the time trial at the Olympic Games, finishing runner-up to Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara at Rio in 2016 and, in Tokyo last year, to his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.

Reacting to Dumoulin’s announcement today, Team Jumbo-Visma general manager of Plugge said: “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.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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