Tom Dumoulin finds it difficult to leave after eight years with Team Sunweb, the only professional team he has ever raced for. But the 28-year-old Limburger hopes to give a new boost to his career after a disappointing season at Jumbo-Visma.
"It really hurts me to leave Sunweb," says Dumoulin on Monday at the site of the German team. "My heart is with this team and together we have achieved great things that I am very proud of."
"But after the disappointment of missing the Tour, I was at home and I started to think that a new environment could be refreshing. That is why I decided to respond to the interest of other teams. There were very nice offers and in this phase of my career it felt like the right time to go into that. "
After months of rumors, Team Sunweb confirmed Monday morning that the team has reached an agreement with Dumoulin on the dissolution of its contract that runs until the end of 2021.
Jumbo-Visma then quickly announced that the 2017 Giro winner will switch to where the Dutch team, where he, together with Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic, must form a very strong classification team for the big rounds.
See also: Dumoulin leaves after eight years with Team Sunweb and signs with Jumbo-Visma
"It has been a difficult year for Tom"
Dumoulin is experiencing a dramatic season. Due to a crash in the first week of the Tour of Italy, his main goal - winning the Giro - failed and he could not start in the Tour de France. He is also not yet fit enough to participate in the Vuelta a España from Saturday.
In recent months, more and more reports have trickled in that the 2017 time trial world champion was no longer satisfied with Sunweb's team management.
"It has been a difficult year for Tom, in which he has had to deal with multiple setbacks," admits Sunweb team boss Iwan Spekenbrink. "It is normal for someone his age to take a step back and review his situation."
"Tom then gave in to the idea that a new environment could be refreshing and we decided to respect and facilitate his request for a departure. Tom means a lot to our organization. Of course we think it's a shame he is leaving, but this is also part of top sport. "
Dumoulin himself emphasizes that without Sunweb he would not have been the rider he is today. "I know that the grass will not always be greener than at Sunweb. I will always remain grateful for the opportunities I have received and for the fact that the team now gives me the space to move to another team."
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