Former world time trial champion Tom Dumoulin has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, explaining that the efforts he has been making in training have not translated into performances on the road.
The Jumbo-Visma rider, who during a professional career spanning 12 seasons also won the 2017 Giro d’Italia, stages at all three Grand Tours and two Olympic silver medals, revealed his plans to retire in a post on Facebook.
The 31 year old said: “I decided that 2022 will be my last year as a professional cyclist.”
Dumoulin previously took an extended break from the sport in early 2021, saying that he had “burned out” after overtraining during the previous year – one in which the racing calendar was hugely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – leaving him “only a shadow of myself.”
He said: “After a while I decided to continue my cycling career. On the one hand because the Olympic Games in Tokyo were already on my mind for five years and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. But on the other hand definitely also because of my love for the bike and the passion that I have for this special cycling world. The world that astonishes me so often, but just as often makes me feel at home. Since that autumn in 2020, I occasionally was still able to show my abilities on the bike. Last year’s silver medal being the absolute highlight. I’m really proud of that performance.
“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 from fatigue, aches and injuries instead of improving. The effort in training did not often lead to the desired performances. For a while now there has been a disbalance between my 100 per cent dedication, everything I do and sacrifice for the sport and what I subsequently get out of it in return.
“With a lot of patience and a very cautions (training) 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 career and to take a new and unknown path.”
Dumoulin, who has suffered from a long-term back problem which forced him to abandon last month’s Giro d’Italia on Stage 14 to Turin, said he would now plan with his team “to make the most out of the last months … with hopefully still a lot of joy and success.”
At Bergen in 2017, Dumoulin won the rainbow jersey in the individual time trial in Bergen, Norway, and looking ahead to this year’s event in Wollongong, New South Wales, he said “I especially look forward to the World Championship in Australia where I hope to get the best out of myself in the time trial one last time.
He said that at the moment he does not know what he will do once he stops racing, adding that “my love for the bike will always keep me connected to the world of cycling one way or another.
“I feel very happy and grateful and I now already look back on my career with a lot of pride.”
He concluded: “Cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world.”
Simon joined road.cc 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.