Team BikeExchange confirmed that Tom Dumoulin is among the riders it is looking at for the future, to slot into a potential GC role, but emphasised it’s not a decision the Australian-based squad would be making anytime soon.
There was a quickly denied report in L’Equipe last month suggesting Dumoulin could break his contract at Jumbo-Visma and move to Team BikeExchange for 2022. While Cyclingnews earlier revealed an immediate move is not in the cards, ongoing discussions about a potential place in the team in the future are continuing, as the Dutch rider shifts out of contract at the end of the 2022 season.
“Tom Dumoulin is a rider that's on the market at the end of next year and he is a rider that most teams would like to have on board if he performs like he did at the Olympics, for example,” Team BikeExchange general manager Brent Copeland told Cyclingnews recently.
“If he's wanting to carry on with GC ambitions it is definitely a rider that we would sit down and say, ‘okay, is this someone that we could bring on board for the future and work with’. He has still got a good couple of years ahead of him, so those discussions are ongoing all the time.”
Team BikeExchange's contingent of GC leaders was weakened at the end of last year when it lost Adam Yates to Ineos Grenadiers and a rising Jack Haig to Bahrain Victorious. Their overall hopes have largely rested on the shoulders of Simon Yates this season, with the Briton coming third in this year’s Giro d’Italia after winning the Tour of the Alps.
Dumoulin had an extremely limited race schedule this season, as soon after being announced as joint leader for Jumbo-Visma at the Tour de France this year the 30 year old departed from the January training camp early and announced, with the support of the team, that he would take leave for an unspecified period to seek a clearer picture of what he wanted from the sport.
He returned to racing at the Dutch National Championships time trial in June, coming first, then lined up at the Tour de Suisse ahead of the Olympic Games, where he took silver in the time trial. After that Dumoulin said he was enjoying being a cyclist again and planned to continue with the profession.
The 2017 Giro d’Italia winner – who also came second in the Tour de France in 2018 and seventh overall in 2020 while supporting teammate Primož Roglič to second – then finished his season at the seven-stage Benelux Tour, taking third in the final stage and finishing ninth overall.
Team BikeExchange said it will now be looking to see how the 2022 season unfolds.
“You have to see how he goes next year; if he's going to invest in GC still, or three week GC or just one week GC races," said Copeland. "That's something we'll have to look at but it’s not a decision we make today. He's one of many riders that we have on the list that we are continuously looking at and thinking about for the future."
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