Tom Dumoulin dropped out of the Giro d’Italia on stage 14 from Santena to Turin on Saturday. The Dutchman had hoped his persistent back pain would improve, however, he pulled to the side of the road just over 50km from the start of the race, which was quick from the start.
“It’s a bit better. It’s the same problem I’ve had all season and when the intensity increases I have back problems. I hope it gets better,” said the pilot Jumbo Visma.
“Actually it’s gotten better the last few days and I hope it will get better still, and I can at least get the most out of the race,” Dumoulin said hopefully ahead of stage 14 at Santana.
“As I said, when I train I don’t really have a problem with it, but as soon as the intensity goes up I feel it. We will assess after the Giro, but now there is no not really time. There is a treatment and it makes it better.”
Jumbo-Visma confirmed Dumoulin dropped out of the scene in a social media post, saying, “Tom had been struggling with his physical condition for several days.”
In a press release posted during the stage on the Jumbo-Visma website, Dumoulin elaborated on his form and injury, saying: “The tank is empty. I don’t really know what to say about it at the moment. It’s very disappointing. I can’t give power without it hurting me. The form just isn’t there. At the moment, I don’t have an answer to the question of why.”
Dumoulin confirmed that over the last two weeks of racing he gradually realized that he was unable to get the best out of himself.
“I noticed that I didn’t have the best legs in this Giro. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to completing this round and finishing in Verona with the rest of the team. I wanted to at least do the necessary running kilometers on the legs. I boosted myself every morning to get the most out of it, but I just can’t. The body is currently complete,” he said in the press release.
Dumoulin, who won the 2017 Giro d’Italia overall title, admitted he suffered a lingering back injury in this year’s race after falling more than 19 minutes in the overall standings. In a brief interview with Eurosport after stage 11 in Reggio Emilia, Dumoulin said: “To be honest, I have a back problem, so it’s not great.”
After a break from the sport, Dumoulin returned to the WorldTour with a short schedule last year at the Tour de Suisse, the Dutch Road Championships where he won the time trial, the Tokyo Olympics where he won the silver medal in the time trial and the Benelux Tour. .
Dumoulin showed impressive form in the Giro d’Italia Stage 2 time trial in Budapest, finishing third, however, just days later he was dropped by a group of favorites during the ascent of Etna during stage 4 of the race, struggling to keep pace on a 14% gradient.
He then took fourth place on stage 7, helping his teammate Koen Bouwman to victory. However, the team no longer had an overall competitor in the race.
“These are the beautiful things that I have been able to experience this Giro. I have been able to enjoy it. But in the last few days it has been especially difficult. I am going home now and I will give space to this disappointment. Then, we’ll see each other again,” he said in the press release.