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Tom Dumoulin in talks with Total Direct Energie, reports suggest

Joe Robinson
2 Jul 2019

Dutchman said to have fallen out with Team Sunweb after crash at Giro d'Italia

Reports are suggesting that previous time trial World Champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin could be on the move to ProContinental team Total Direct Energie. According to French news outlet WeSport, the Dutchman has started initial discussions with the French team for a potential move in 2020.

Thanks to the recent €1.4 million acquisition of Direct Energie by the giant gas company Total, the team should have the budget to transition to cycling's WorldTour for next season with team manager Jean Rene Bernaudeau planning for the transition.

The team currently functions on an annual budget of approximately €10 million but that is expected to rise with the introduction of Total back in the spring.

Earlier in the year, the French team were linked with a move for home star Julian Alaphilippe in a deal reported to be worth €4 million per year until the rider signed a contract extension with current team Deceuninck-QuickStep.

While these rumours from often have to be taken with a pinch of salt, it is true that there is a fracture in the relationship of Dumoulin and his current team, Team Sunweb.

It was previously reported that Dumoulin had fallen out with his current employers following his crash at May's Giro d'Italia.

The 28-year-old is said to be unhappy with how management had reacted to the crash that forced him to abandon the race and will subsequently prevent him from riding the Tour de France this month.

Before the unfortunate crash, the rest of Team Sunweb had been told to park their own ambitions in 2019 as the entire team would be geared towards helping Dumoulin contest pink at the Giro and yellow at the Tour.

Now the team has been forced to reassess its goals, moving towards an attempt at winning stages rather than the race overall.