Jumbo-Visma rider Dumoulin took an indefinite mental health break from racing earlier this year, unsure if he wanted to continue his racing career.
But the Dutch star returned to competition in June in emphatic style, winning his first race, the Dutch national time trial championships, and going on to win silver in the Olympic TT in Tokyo.
Earlier this week, news emerged that Dumoulin had been forced to withdraw from the Worlds after he was knocked off his bike by a driver while training, suffering a broken wrist which put a premature end to his season.
Jumbo-Visma sports director Merijn Zeeman was one of the first to hear about Dumoulin’s injuries, as the rider text him on the day of the fall telling him he would not be racing the Worlds.
Zeeman told Dutch news outlet AD: “In the time trial at the World Championships, Tom was certainly a medal candidate.
“I was confident that Tom would have a good autumn and lay a foundation for next year.”
But despite the setback, which is added to a long list of illnesses and injuries that have hampered Dumoulin over the last three years, Zeeman says the 30-year-old will continue racing next year, and may even target another Grand Tour.
“Tom hasn’t become a different rider,” Zeeman said. “His qualities are still the same as before. He remains a very good climber with a devastating time trial.”
“As a one-day rider, he can play a role in finals at times, but the most important remain stage races. I think he will definitely try another Grand Tour as well. The main difference is that Tom has to think carefully about when he wants to be good and how he works towards it. He may drive a few fewer races and some races for the team or someone else."
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