Theatrical victories in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta, the pink jersey in Milan, the rainbow jersey in Mons … Tom Dumoulin’s career is full of great touches. However, in recent years, the Limburger is no longer able to achieve the desired level. With the farewell announcement in June, Dumoulin’s brilliant career ends. He is at peace with that.
“It was nice,” Dumoulin tells NOS in Australia. Initially riding his last race here by going for gold again at the time of the World Cup Trial, but came back to that later. “I don’t think it is the most important thing in the world anymore to win the match. After that, it is difficult to continue to be involved in the best sports.”
Dumoulin has always struggled with the circus in this sport, especially when he suddenly became a national champion. Suddenly there was so much that I had experienced up until then. Until then I was already doing it for myself. I thought it was cool to challenge myself to get better. With my overall victory in the Giro I’m starting to do that a little bit for others. Others also thought it was too important for me to bike. My team, sponsors, fans. I felt it was also important for my team to feel good about what I was doing.
The outside pressure was stifling Dumoulin
The highlight of Circus Dumoulin was the 2017 Giro’s concert in Maastricht. “It’s not that anyone ever said that to me, like, ‘The Tour’s in two weeks and we’re asking you to give your best and ride on the podium.’ I gave him that explanation myself. But I could never let that feeling go completely. In total, he won. The former Team Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma racer with 22 races, including four stages and the final classification in the Giro, three stages in the Tour de France, two stages in the Vuelta a España and the World Time Trial.
Now that he is retired, Dumoulin is at peace with his career. “When I talk to people, it’s like, ‘What happened? Why did you stop at 31? “But I just want to look back with pride at my career and think: Yeah, damn it, I’ve been a pro for 11 years and been one of the best players in the world. I’ve had amazing results. I won a Grand Tour, I was a world champion. I want to look at it from a perspective.” Positive, and first I want to take a few steps back and find that sense of pride.
Time at Jumbo-Visma became a disappointment
That Dumoulin put so much on the plate in Jumbo-Visma with his mental struggles is an understatement. The Dutchman came to the Dutch national team as a gentleman in 2020, but has rarely been able to excel. Later, you can tell that for me at that moment it was not A match made in heaven used to be. There are hundreds of reasons for this, but basically I didn’t reach my level due to injuries and troubles.
Dumoulin had a hard time with this situation and it spread to the team. “If he nibbles on you long enough, he also nibbles a little at the people who work with you every day. In the end, it was years of doubt, and it was all because of this.
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