What a difference the year makes. In December 2020, Tom Dumoulin decided to stop racing altogether. He said he was “mentally and physically tired”.
When he returned, he made a statement by winning a silver medal in the individual time trial. He trained for the victory for three months, but this honor went to Jumbo-Visma teammate Primož Roglič, who earned his first Slovenian gold medal in cycling.
At this presentation on the podium in Tokyo, Dumoulin tilted his hat to Roglič, and now attributes much of his renewed views to serving for life on a bicycle to his teammate in Jumbo-Visma, who spent time together at the team camp from 13 to 21 December in Catalonia.
“I like talking to Primož. When you talk to him about your problems, he really listens. I’ve never seen him judge anyone. He expresses his feelings, talks about his experiences, “said Dumoulin The Team about his departure from the camp.
“Now I want to see it as an adventure, a story I write for me and only for me. Something you are lucky enough to experience only once in your life and from which you have to accept the best and the worst. “
The Dutch rider in the Dutch team is ready to return for the entire racing season and even to compete in the Grand Tours again. In 2021, he raced for only 19 days, most of the time with a personal break.
“I spent much of the 2020 season mentally and physically tired. I couldn’t recover and when I got to the beginning of the year, I was trapped,” said the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner and former world time trial champion. The Team. “I just couldn’t get over it and I had to decide to quit to have the necessary perspective and find a way to act differently.”
Dumoulin won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, so his only goal was to be even better in Tokyo. He admitted that he was not only disappointed that Roglič took the gold.
“If I could choose who would beat me, I would choose Primož. He is a kind of example to me, “he admitted.
Even after the Olympics, Dumoulin faced another career failure with a broken wrist that required surgery after he was hit by a car near his home in the Netherlands. As a result, he missed the World Cup in Flanders and ended his season.
But he came back with a new condition and new views, thanks to Roglič, who says: “What he told me will help me spend the rest of my career.”
Dumoulin has not driven a Grand Tour since 2020, when he finished seventh overall in the Tour de France and then left the Vuelta prematurely due to fatigue. He could drive a Giro or Tour next year and could be tempted to double up by driving on the Vuelta, as he starts in the Netherlands with three stages and has both a team and individual time trial. three weeks where he can regain the time he could have lost on the mountain stages.
“One thing is for sure, I will continue to strive for a general classification in certain races,” Dumoulin said.
Jumbo-Visma is one of four WorldTour teams recently confirmed to participate in the Volta ao Algarve from 16 to 20 February.
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