Tom Dumoulin has revealed he considered retirement before the Tour de France 2020.
The Jumbo-Visma rider has battled back from injury, illness and kept his motivation through the coronavirus pandemic to become one of the key figures in this year’s Tour.
But Dumoulin has revealed he considered leaving the sport earlier this year, when he thought he had lost another season to bad luck.
The Dutchman told broadcaster Nos: “I had a terrible time after my knee injury. Then my intestinal complaints, which I got over in the spring and then coronavirus. I can say I was closer to stopping than continuing”.”
Dumoulin’s misfortunes started early in the 2019 season when he crashed out of Giro d’Italia in the first week, suffering a knee injury that would take him out for the rest of the season.
After finally recovering from the knee wound, Dumoulin was ready to start his 2020 season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in February, but was forced to pull out on the eve of the race after he was diagnosed with stomach parasites.
When he finally recovered from the illness, the UCI suspended all racing due to coronavirus and it was unclear when racing would return.
Dumoulin didn’t race for more than a year, but still finished seventh in the 2020 Tour de France, working as a key lieutenant for Primož Roglič, and finished second in the stage 20 time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Dumoulin said: “From May I tried to pick up the thread again. I love cycling and I started working for the Tour. In the preparation it went better and better, but to this day I am not comfortable on the bike. It is not the feeling that I am looking for, but I am still proud that I have finished seventh. ”
The 29-year-old is now considering his chances in the World Championships time trial on Friday (September 25), but says he will see how he feels.
He added: “It has been quite a lot and I don’t want to overload myself and take that into next year. I’m going to have a nice rest and then you will see me again in Imola.”