Tom Dumoulin is back to racing as he took part in a mountain bike beach race.
The Dutch star has been out of competition since the Critérium du Dauphiné in June because of a persistent injury he picked up at the Giro d’Italia.
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Dumoulin has taken time off the bike to recover, but appears to be stepping up the training once more as he looks to his comeback in 2020.
On Sunday (December 1) he lined up at the start of MTB Beach Race in Scheveningen in the Netherlands, a 54.9km race along the North Sea coast.
Riding a flat-barred Giant bike with chunky tyres, complete with 1x setup, Dumoulin rode to sixth place in the event – completing the course in 1-33-36.
The men’s race was won by Dutch road rider Rick van Breda with a time of 1-32-57.
This season was turbulent for Tom Dumoulin, as he planned repeat his glowing 2018 by racing both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
But his season was upended on stage four of the Giro d’Italia when he crashed in the closing kilometres on the road to Frascati and suffered a deep wound to his knee.
Dumoulin retired from the race the following day and began the arduous road to recovery, but after returning to racing the following month at the Dauphiné it became clear that Dumoulin’s injury had not healed enough, so he abandoned the race and the remainder of his season.
Having not raced since June, Dumoulin has also undergone a significant career change as he will be leaving Sunweb after seven years with the German squad, over reported disagreements with the team.
The winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia is now switching to Dutch squad Jumbo-Visma, where he will join fellow Grand Tour winner Primož Roglič and his compatriot Steven Kruijswijk.
Dumoulin has undergone two operations on his left knee during his extended break from racing, but in September he released an update saying doctors had confirmed he would be able to return to his previous level.