Dumoulin, who hit the heights in 2017 when he won the Giro d’Italia in fine style and then went on to win the world title in the time trial, has announced his immediate retirement from professional cycling. He had stated previously that he would retire at the end of this season, after the Worlds, but with the release of a statement yesterday, in which he pointedly said “I can’t do it anymore”, his cycling career has now come to an end.
The statement, in full, read: “I decided to quit professional cycling with immediate effect. 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.
“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. 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. 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.”
Fair play to Tom, whose career of decent results was punctuated with that stellar year in 2017 during which it looked like he might go on to win the Tour and a few big classics, but it wasn’t to be. Many others would have dragged it out til the end of the season and selfishly taken a spot on the World’s team from another rider, so it’s good to see he has the courage to make this difficult call.
I can’t say I know him, but i did ride with him once, post-Tour de France criterium, Maastricht, 2011, and I had no idea who he was…