Tom Dumoulin returns as a professional cyclist at the highest level. After a period of about four months in which he questioned whether he wanted to continue cycling, he has decided to focus on professional sport for a few more years.
The eight-day Tour of Switzerland, which starts in Frauenfeld on Sunday, June 6th, will be the first race Dumoulin will start. After that, he will ride both the Dutch time trial championships (on June 16th in Emmen) and the Dutch road race championships (on June 20th at the VAM berg). This has been confirmed by several sources to WielerFlits.
Dumoulin now wants to focus on the Olympic time trial in Tokyo which takes place on July 28th. National coach Koos Moerenhout has given him the time to calmly make a decision about his future and gave Dumoulin the assurance that he could count on being selected, based on his time trial qualities.
The second Dutchman to be drafted into the time trial in Tokyo will likely be Dylan van Baarle. For the road race, the national coach will decide in the coming days which five riders will be selected. As a participant in the time trial, Dumoulin is automatically sure of riding the road race of 234 kilometers with 4865 meters of elevation.
From team Jumbo-Visma, nobody wants to comment on Dumoulin’s return for the time being. After the Limburg-born athlete showed up as a guest in the Amstel Gold Race and his team also stayed at hotel in Maastricht during the run-up to the Ardenne Classics, there were several talks about Dumoulin’s return. Yesterday, several people in the team were informed internally about the positive decision of the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner.
That is 120 days after Dumoulin indicated on Friday, January 22nd, that he wanted to temporarily stop cycling, in a conversation with the Jumbo-Visma technical staff during the first training camp in Alicante. “I want to do well for everyone, but I’ve forgotten myself a little bit in the past year,” Dumoulin told us at the time. “What do I, the human Tom Dumoulin, want with his life right now? That’s a question that’s been bubbling up for a few months. But I don’t get the time to answer that question. The life of a pro rider is always going on.”
That’s why Dumoulin wanted to stop temporarily, to see if he really wanted to continue cycling at the highest level. In recent weeks he was spotted again, almost daily, on the road bike in the hills of Limburg and in the Belgian Voerstreek. It was noticed that he regularly made trips on his time trial bike.
WielerFlits reported on April 20 that Dumoulin was on the list from Dutch Olympic Committee NOC*NSF, with athletes to be vaccinated for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In the last week of April, most riders who are eligible to participate at Tokyo 2021 were expected at Papendal to be vaccinated. “I haven’t written off Tom Dumoulin for the Olympics yet,” national coach Koos Moerenhout explained at the time.
“As far as I’m concerned, he still has a chance to be in action in the road race and time trial. I recently had contact with him and discussed this with him. However, Tom is not yet ready to make a decision about his future. The most important thing is that he takes that decision in peace, and I’ll give him all the time he needs for that.”