The Hague (AFP) – Former Giro d’Italia winner and two-time Olympic silver medallist Tom Dumoulin announced his immediate retirement from cycling on Monday, saying that his “tank was empty”.
The 31-year-old Dutchman had previously said back in June that he would quit at the end of the 2022 season, after competing in the World Championships in Australia in September.
“I decided to quit professional cycling with immediate effect,” Dumoulin said in a statement on Twitter.
Dumoulin said that his “wishlist” had involved ending his career “with a bang” at the World Championships.
“But I notice I can’t do it anymore. The tank is empty, the legs feel heavy and the training sessions are not working out as I hoped,” he said.
He added that “since my hard crash in training last September, something has broken again”.
“Even though the farewell didn’t turn out the way I hoped, I look back on my career with incredible pride,” said Dumoulin, who cycled with the Jumbo-Visma team.
Known as a proficient time-trialist and mountain climber, Dumoulin in May dropped out of the Giro — Italy’s most iconic race — saying then he felt “empty and finished.”
The Maastricht-born cyclist then said in June that he had decided 2022 would be his last season as a professional cyclist.
Since starting to compete professionally in 2010, Dumoulin put together a string of successes including winning the Giro d’Italia in 2017 — an achievement for which he received a knighthood in the Netherlands.
That same year Dumoulin also won gold in the UCI Road World Championships men’s time trial and team time trial in Bergen.
The year before he won a silver medal in the individual time trial at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
One of his best performances came in 2018, when he finished runner-up to Geraint Thomas in the Tour de France two months after finishing second in the Giro.
But the rider suffered a disastrous crash in the fourth stage of the 2019 Giro and eventually finished it four minutes in arrears of many of the other favourites.
He said despite coming back from a burnout to win Olympic silver in July 2021 his body felt “tired”.
© 2022 AFP