'Cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful' — Tom Dumoulin to retire at end of 2022 season

Jumbo-Visma rider says he will take "new and unknown path" from next year

Tom Dumoulin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Dumoulin has announced that he will retire at the end of 2022. In a post on Instagram, the 2017 Giro d'Italia winner said that this year has been a "frustrating path", and that he has chosen to take a "new and unknown" route.

The Jumbo-Visma rider is out of contract at the end of the year, and so a decision on his future was required. There had been rumours that Team BikeExchange-Jayco would sign the Dutchman, but the 31-year-old has decided to leave the sport.

In a lengthy statement on his social media (opens in new tab), Dumoulin said: "For a while now there has been a disbalance [sic] between my 100% dedication, everything I do and sacrifice for my sport, and what I subsequently get out of it in return.

"With a lot of patience and a very cautious training approach, I'm convinced that I could get back to my full potential on the bike But that would be a long and patient road, with no guarantees on success. I choose not to take that road, but to quit my active cycling instead and to take a new and unknown path."

The man from Maastricht in the Netherlands turned pro with Project 1t4i in 2012, and was initially regarded as a time-trial specialist, before he emerged as a contender at Grand Tours in 2015 at the Vuelta a España. The following year he won stages at the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

In 2017, he triumphed at the Giro, the first ever Dutch winner of the Grand Tour, before winning the time trial at the World Championships. Then in 2018, he was close to a special feat, as he was runner-up at both the Giro and the Tour, to Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas respectively. 

He joined Jumbo-Visma from Sunweb in 2020. At the end of the year, Dumoulin took an indefinite break from cycling. His team stood by him, and he said he had become "a little lost".

"I don't know yet what I want to do after my active cycling career, and I also don't really want to know at this moment," he wrote. "But I do know that my love for the bike will always keep me connected to the world of cycling one way or another. I'm very curious what the future will hold for me. I feel happy and grateful and now I already look back on my career with a lot of pride."

At last month's Giro d'Italia, Dumoulin finished third on the stage two time trial in Budapest, which was won by Simon Yates. He went on to support his teammate Koen Bouwman to victory on stage seven, finishing fourth. He pulled out of the Giro on stage 14, in 31st on GC. 

He has 22 professional victories, including nine Grand Tour wins.

The Dutchman said that the team and him would set a good plan for the rest of 2022. "I especially look forward to the World Championships in Australia where I hope to get the best out of myself in the time trial one last time," he wrote.

Tom Dumoulin's full statement

"I [have] decided that 2022 will be my last year as a professional cyclist. In 2020 I had a very difficult year and at the end of that year I got over-trained and burned out. At the end of 2020, beginning of 2021, I was only a shadow of myself and thus decided at the time to take a break away from cycling and to think about my future.

"After a while I decided to continue my cycling career, On the one hand because the Olympic Games in Tokyo were already on my mind for five years and I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity. But on the other hand definitely also because of my love for the hike and the passion that I have for this special cycling world. The world that astonishes me so often, but just as often makes me feel at home. Since that autumn in 2020, I occasionally was still able to show my abilities on the bike. Last year's silver medal being the absolute highlight. I'm really proud of that performance.

"But despite how good it occasionally still was: many times, and especially this year, it has been a frustrating path, at which my body felt tired and still does feel tired. As soon as the load in training or races gets higher, I suffer from fatigue, aches and injuries instead of improving.

"The effort in training did not often lead to the desired performances. For a while now there has been a disbalance [sic] between my 100% dedication, everything I do and sacrifice for my sport, and what I subsequently get out of it in return.

"With a lot of patience and a very cautious training approach, I'm convinced that I could get back to my full potential on the bike. But that would be a long and patient road, with no guarantees on success. I choose not to take that road, but to quit my active cycling instead and to take a new and unknown path.

"The team and I are now going to make a plan to make the most out of the last months. Last months with hopefully still a lot of joy and success. I especially look forward to the World Championships in Australia where I hope to get the best out of myself in the time trial one last time.

"I don't know yet what I want to do after my active cycling career, and I also don't really want to know at this moment. But I do know that my love for the bike will always keep me connected to the world of cycling one way or another. I'm very curious what the future will hold for me. I feel happy and grateful and now I already look back on my career with a lot of pride.

"Last but not least, I want to thank everyone who has been with me on this amazing adventure! To thank everyone who helped me with it and who shared the special moments with me. I want to thank my teammates, sports directors, soignies, mechanics, supporting staff and sponsors who have been there for me over the past years.

"A special thank you to all the cycling fans who cheered me on and supported me through thick and thin. Cycling required my blood, sweat and tears at times, but mostly it was beautiful and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world!

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

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Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over my professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.