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In his second race back after a lengthy hiatus, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) stormed to his fourth career Dutch national time trial title on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Dutchman rode the 29.6 km course in Emmen in 36:06, 27 seconds faster than Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education-Nippo) and 1:24 than Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), to secure the win and build his case as an Olympic contender as the Tokyo Games loom.
Dumoulin announced in January, only a day after Jumbo-Visma announced the Grand Tour plans of the team’s biggest names, that he would be stepping away from racing for an undefined period of time. He was out of competition for several months, but he announced in May that he would return to racing at the Tour de Suisse, which kicked off on June 6, with the Tour de France no longer on his calendar and the Olympic time trial as his main objective on the horizon.
Dumoulin rode to 16th place in the opening time trial at the Tour de Suisse, and then nabbed fifth in the hilly stage 7 time trial, suggesting that he was not far off form despite the break.
On Wednesday, he put down another marker ahead of Tokyo, adding a fourth Dutch TT title to his career palmares.
“This is really great. Winning is winning. I can ride around in a pretty jersey for a year. In 2017 or 2018 this would not have meant this much but now it does,” Dumoulin told Podium TV after the race. “It was not a pain free TT because that’s impossible but the feeling was good and the results reflect that.
“I started training in earnest again early May. Since then it went up and up. In Switzerland it went better every day. I recover well and that’s the best of it. I was overtrained and didn’t recover earlier this year. It’s a horrible feeling if you don’t know your body anymore and if the body doesn’t react to training like you are used to. Finally, that period off the bike has done a lot of good and to see results now is great.”
The next major goal on Dumoulin’s calendar, the race against the clock in Tokyo, will take place on July 29.
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