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Tom Dumoulin has left the training camp of Team Jumbo-Visma to consider his cycling future at home. The Dutch rider won’t participate in races for the time being.
“I took the decision yesterday. And the team supports me in it, and it feels really good. It is really as if a backpack of a hundred kilos has slipped off my shoulders. I immediately woke up happy. It feels so good that I finally took the decision to take some time for myself. That tells everything.”
Dumoulin about his decision: “I have been feeling for quite a while that it is very difficult for me to know how to find my way as Tom Dumoulin the cyclist. With the pressure that comes with it, with the expectations of different parties. I just want to do very well for very many people. I want the team to be happy with me. I want the sponsors to be happy. I want my wife and my family to be happy. I want to do well for everyone, but because of that I have forgotten myself in the past year. What do I want? Do I still want to be a rider? And how?”, he said.
“It’s heavy news”, Merijn Zeeman, Team Jumbo-Visma’s sportive director, added. “We’re going to miss a very good rider for the time being. In the end, the people always come before the athletes. We have talked about it a lot for a long time. We gave Tom all the help he needed, already in the last season. In the end, the same question kept coming up and, in close consultation with us, he decided to take a break for the time being to come to his senses. We support him and we have also shown understanding.”
Now that Dumoulin has parked the bike for a while, the coaches have to go back to the drawing board. “Of course, this has an impact. Tom is a fantastic rider. But anyway, in the end we are Team Jumbo-Visma. We have a group of 27 riders, of which Tom unfortunately is not part of for the time being. There are also riders who will seize the opportunity. Spots become available in beautiful races. We will now start to think about that. We still have a very strong team.”
Zeeman can’t predict if and when Dumoulin returns to the team. “No, because I don’t think there should be an end date in this kind of process. That end date has been approaching from day one. This is really a process, a natural process. Searching for yourself. There should be no end date. As a team, with our sponsors, the staff, his teammates, we all support him. I think that Tom feels that support very much. We will see how life goes on.”