Tom Dumoulin announces retirement at end of 2022 season
'For a while now there has been a disbalance between everything I do and sacrifice for the sport and what I subsequently get out of it in return'
Tom Dumoulin has announced that he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the current season.
The Dutchman, who has raced the past three seasons for Jumbo-Visma, made the announcement via social media.
"Dear cycling fans, dear all, I decided that 2022 will be my last year as a professional cyclist," he wrote in a post to Instagram and Facebook on Friday afternoon.
Dumoulin wrote that he has felt "for a while now" that the effort he has been putting in during training has not translated to racing, and noted that, while he feels he could get back to his full potential but has opted against going down a "long and patient road" with no guarantees of success.
Last season, Dumoulin took time away from cycling, forgoing racing until June after he announced he would be taking a break from the sport and considering his future in January.
He made a successful return last year, taking the Dutch time trial title and a silver medal in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympics, but his 2022 campaign has been tougher.
Early signs of promise came with a third place in the time trial at the UAE Tour, before he missed Strade Bianche due to being "unfit" according to his team, and then abandoning the Volta a Catalunya with illness.
Last month, he abandoned the Giro d'Italia from 31st place after two weeks of racing, having struggled with back pain following a positive start with second place in the Budapest time trial.
Jumbo-Visma coach Marc Reef later said it was "too early" to write Dumoulin off as a future GC contender, despite his troubles. However, with Tour de France selection very unlikely, it now appears that the Giro may have been the final Grand Tour of Dumoulin's career, barring an appearance at the Vuelta a España later in the year.
"It's the same problem I had already the whole season and when the intensity goes up then I get problems with my back," Dumoulin said on the morning before he left the Giro. "When I'm training I don't really have problems with it, but as soon as the intensity goes up, I feel it. We'll assess after the Giro, but now there's not really time. There's treatment and that makes it better.
"I boosted myself every morning to make the most of it, but I simply can't. The body is currently finished," he added later.
31-year-old Dumoulin is set to bid farewell to the sport with a glittering palmarès which includes overall victory at the 2017 Giro d'Italia as well as a world time trial title and BinckBank Tour title the same season.
During an 11-year career which has seen him race for Sunweb and Jumbo, he has also racked up nine Grand Tour stage wins – including three at the Tour de France – and runner-up spots at both the Tour and Vuelta. Two Olympic time trial silver medals and 11 other pro wins round out his career achievements.
Dumoulin wrote that he has no specific plans as of yet for what he'll do after ending his career. He's now set to work with Jumbo-Visma to plan out his final few months as a pro cyclist, with the time trial at the UCI World Championships in Australia looking likely to be his farewell to the sport.
"I especially look forward to the World Championships in Australia where I hope to get the best out of myself in the time trial one last time," he wrote.
Read below for Tom Dumoulin's retirement statement in full...
Tom Dumoulin's retirement statement
Dear cycling fans, dear all,
I decided that 2022 will be my last year as a professional cyclist.
In 2020 I had a very difficult year and at the end of the year I got overtrained and burned out. At the end of 2020, beginning of 2021 I was only a shadow of myself and thus I decided at the time to take a break away from cycling and to think about my future.
After a while, I decided to continue my cycling career. on the one hand because the Olympic Games in Tokyo were already on my mind for five years and I didn't' want to miss out on the opportunity. But on the other hand, definitely also because of my love for the bike and the passion that I have for this special cycling world. The world that astonishes me so often, but just as often makes me feel at home. Since that autumn in 2020, I occasionally was still able to show my abilities on the bike. Last year's silver medal being the absolute highlight. I'm really proud of that performance.
But despite how good it occasionally still was: many times, and especially this year, it has been a frustrating path, at which my body felt tired and still does feel tired. As soon as the load in training or races gets higher, I suffer from fatigue, aches, and injuries instead of improving.
The effort in training did often not lead to the desired performances. For a while now there has been a disbalance between my 100% dedication, everything I do and sacrifice for the sport, and what I subsequently get out of it in return.
With a lot of patience and a very cautious (training) approach, I'm convinced that I could get back to my full potential on the bike. But that would be a long and patient road with no guarantees on success. I choose not to take that road, but to quit my active cycling instead and to take a new and unknown path.
The team and I are now going to make a plan to make the most out of the last months. Last months with hopefully still a lot of joy and success. I especially look forward to the World Championships in Australia where I hope to get the best out of myself in the time trial one last time.
I don't know yet what to do after my active cycling career, and I also don't really want to know at this moment. But I do know that my love for the bike will always keep me connected to the world of cycling one way or another. I'm very curious what the future will hold for me. I feel happy and grateful and I now already look back on my career with a lot of pride.
Last but not least, I want to thank everyone who has been there with me on this amazing adventure! To thank everyone who helped me with it and who shared the special moments with me. I want to thank my teammates, sports directors, soigneurs, mechanics, supporting staff, and sponsors show have been there for me over the past years. A special thank you to all the cycling fans who cheered me on and supported me through thick and thin. Cycling required my blood, sweat, and tears, but mostly it was beautiful, and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
A post shared by Tom Dumoulin (@t.dumoulin)
A photo posted by on
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.
As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.