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

Tom Dumoulin at the 2021 Benelux Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Dumoulin has confirmed that he will be going for the general classification at at least one Grand Tour in 2022.

It is not yet clear which race he will target, but the Tour de France would be unlikely selection with Primož Roglič being the main leader of Team Jumbo-Visma. It would need a priority change from the Slovenian star.

Otherwise, the Vuelta a España has both a team and individual time trial as well as a start in Dumoulin's home nation of the Netherlands. With the Giro d'Italia not going for much in the way of TT kilometres, it doesn't seem like such an inviting option for the former time trial world champion. 

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Another enticing motive for Dumoulin to opt for the Vuelta could be the fact that the penultimate stage in the 2022 route is very similar to the one where he lost the red jersey to Fabio Aru back in 2015.

In an interview with De Telegraf (opens in new tab), Dumoulin said: "We have talked a lot about it in the team in recent months. I think riding a [general] classification is very special. That is the ultimate challenge, the pinnacle of cycling.

"Those highs are what drives me. Not only that, of course. Fun should always be there, but if it wasn't for those special highlights, I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much."

Dumoulin had a turbulent 2021 season with the 31-year-old taking time away from the sport in the first half of the season to focus on his mental wellbeing, taking time away from everything bike related in order to assess where he was in his life. 

Thankfully, he returned to racing at the Tour de Suisse in June of 2021 where he put in some excellent performances including a fifth place in the second time trial. He won the Dutch national time trial championships just a few days later.

"I think it's special that I have this opportunity, and it's cool that I can do it well. No matter how difficult it is, because there is a lot of stress and pressure involved," he continued. 

"But when I look back on my career so far, it is precisely those moments where you perform maximum under difficult circumstances are the most special.

"Last year in December I noticed that the feeling was not good, I was over-trained and very tired. Now I feel fit and comfortable in my own skin."

But if Dumoulin wants to have a good go at winning a Grand Tour, like he did at the 2017 Giro, he would need to beat some of the new young-guns such as two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Enric Mas (Movistar), 2019 Giro winner Richard Carapaz and 2019 Tour and 2021 Giro winner Egan Bernal (both Ineos Grenadiers).

Haig has been working hard on his time trialing for the Tour due to the 53km of TT racing, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere is keen to send Evenepoel to the Vuelta and Mas wants to continue to improve at the Tour and the Vuelta.

However, Dumoulin says he isn't afraid of this new influx of talent: "I just think it's great that every year a few of these young guys join us. It makes it even more difficult to get a good classification, but for cycling that's great."

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