Marcel Kittel: I hope Tom Dumoulin finds the answers he needs
The German sprinter similarly took a break from cycling in May 2019, retiring a few months later
Retired pro Marcel Kittel has shared his support for former team-mate Tom Dumoulin, who announced he will be taking an indefinite break from professional cycling.
Kittel similarly decided to take a break from racing nearly two years ago, quitting Katusha-Alpecin in May 2019 citing exhaustion. In August he subsequently announced his retirement, and since then has been vocal about the extreme pressures endured by riders.
"I've always admired Tom Dumoulin for his strength. On the bike when were team-mates and won Tour de France stages together and off the bike for his clear opinion and honest critique," Kittel said, posting on Instagram.
Kittel says he can relate to Dumoulin's situation, and rather than wish him a speedy return to the sport, only hopes that the Dutchman can find the answers he needs.
>>> ‘For too long I’ve felt a lot of pressure to perform’: Tom Dumoulin on his decision to step back from cycling
"Of course, it's sad to see him taking a time out from cycling now, but he is also staying true to himself to take the time he needs to figure out what who he is and what he wants.
"I know from personal experience how it feels and how difficult it can be when you're doubting what you do and you want to look beyond your current life and identity. Only time will give you the answers and I hope for Tom that he'll find them soon.
"Until then I wish him the same strength that he's also got on the bike for this part of his career and everyone else who is in the same situation and trying to learn more about his or her own identity.
"I know that it's a big journey with an uncertain destination but also a very important life lesson once you find that inner compass again, recalibrate and head into this future direction."
Dutch former pro Michael Boogerd also said he can understand Dumoulin's decision.
"I have seen it myself. The pressure, the expectations. I struggled with that too," he told AD.
"People said to me: just look what you have. Healthy children, a beautiful woman, a generous salary, two big cars at the door. But it's not that simple, is it? From that perspective, I have respect for the choice Tom is now making.
"Of course, you have seen for a while that he is not feeling well. He's throwing millions aside. That isn't nothing. I think it's a brave decision.
"Between 2015 and 2018 he was on top of the world with a world title time trial and the win in the Giro. That is really amazing. After that, it went less good for him. If it goes well, all those opinions and reactions are nice. When things go wrong, it all becomes a lot more difficult. That's why I don't envy him right now."
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
Former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer to ride Unbound Gravel
Unbound 200 contestants will be joined by a gravel newcomer of note this year. Former Tour de France race leader Jan Bakelants is joining in on the fray.
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
POC Ventral Tempus MIPS Review - A helmet for riding in the rain, and being seen
Bright, light and comfortable, but not cheap
By Tyler Boucher • Published
Changing of the guard: Seven top cyclists who have retired in 2022
Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde and Tom Dumoulin have all called time on their careers this year
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Celebrating the career of Tom Dumoulin: our three favourite moments
The former Giro d’Italia winner announced his immediate retirement earlier this week
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Tom Dumoulin ends career with immediate effect
Dutch former Giro d’Italia winner brings forward retirement from professional cycling
By Tom Thewlis • Published
'Cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful' — Tom Dumoulin to retire at end of 2022 season
Tom Dumoulin has announced that he will retire this year, and take a take "new and unknown path" from next year
By Adam Becket • Published
'I’ve struggled with having a whole crew revolve around me in the past': Tom Dumoulin happy to share Jumbo-Visma's Giro d'Italia leadership
The Dutchman makes his return to the race he won in 2017
By Chris Marshall-Bell • Published
Tom Dumoulin confirms he will ride for the overall at a Grand Tour in 2022
The former time trial world champion hasn't had a serious go at a Grand Tour since the 2018 Tour de France
By Tim Bonville-Ginn • Published
Tom Dumoulin doesn't rule out Grand Tour return in 2022
Dutchman will decide on his season at the Jumbo-Visma training camp in mid-December
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
Tom Dumoulin to Team BikeExchange for 2022?
L'Equipe reports Giant bikes could be instrumental in taking Dutch star from Jumbo-Visma
By Richard Windsor • Last updated