A report in L’Equipe suggesting Tom Dumoulin could break his contract at Jumbo-Visma and move to BikeExchange for 2022 has quickly been denied, but Cyclingnews understands the Dutchman could join the Australian team in 2023, when his current deal is set to expire.
The French sports newspaper splashed a report of Dumoulin’s possible move on their website, claiming that “talks have advanced well in the last few days,” and suggesting the transfer would happen for the 2022 season.
L’Equipe suggested that Giant want Dumoulin as a figurehead of the team. The claim caused a stir but Dumoulin’s management told quickly Wielerflits they knew nothing of the L’Equipe report, while Jumbo-Visma told the Dutch-language site they “never respond to rumours.” BikeExchange declined to comment when contacted by Cyclingnews.
Cyclingnews understands that the transfer is unlikely to happen for the 2022 season but could take place in 2023, when Dumoulin’s contract with Jumbo-Visma comes to an end.
Giant, who have been rumoured to be joining BikeExchange next season alongside Premier Tech, are said to be keen to see Dumoulin race on their bikes but the Dutchman does not want to break his contract at Jumbo-Visma after he left Giant Alpecin in 2019 on similar grounds. Dumoulin took a sabbatical from the sport at the start of the year due to personal reasons and is focused on enjoying a fuller race programme next season.
Cyclingnews understands there have been early talks of a move to BikeExchange but only for the 2023 season.
After his break this year, Dumoulin returned in the summer and won a silver medal in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympics. He was due to target the time trial at the Flanders World Championships but fractured his wrist when hit by a car during training, ending his 2021 season.
Jumbo-Visma have signed former world time trial champion Rohan Dennis for 2022 and 2023, while giving Dumoulin the freedom to decide his own goals and race programme.
"The most important thing is that he combines happiness with being an athlete,” directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman told Cyclingnews in the summer.
“That’s how we try and work with all our riders. Tom learned a very important less and from now on we’ll keep working on this path in the future.”
“Every athlete is different and if you want the best from their potential then you need to look at each rider differently. That’s the core of how we work, we make the athlete the centre of everything. If you have a situation where the athlete doesn’t believe in what they’re doing, then the outcome won't be success, it will be frustration.”
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