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Tom Dumoulin's return to racing remains on hold

Joe Robinson
4 Feb 2020

The Dutchman was scheduled to make his Jumbo-Visma debut in Valencia

Tom Dumoulin's long-awaited return to bike racing will remain on hold after being forced to miss the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

The Dutchman was scheduled to make his debut on Wednesday for Jumbo-Visma in the five-stage race after his eight-month lay off with a knee injury. However, the 29-year-old was struck with a bout of illness and decided to skip the event.

On his social media, Dumoulin wrote: 'The guys have just left for a training ride, here in Valencia. Unfortunately without me. I got sick last night and I will return to home to recover.

'This is not the way I wanted to start the season, but we have to be wise. When you don't feel well, you'd better not race. I came to Spain to build up my condition, not to break it down. I hope to be back soon!'

The 2018 Giro d'Italia champion has not raced a bike competitively since last year's Criterium du Dauphine, where he pulled out with a knee injury before Stage 7.

Dumoulin's injury stemmed for a heavy crash sustained on Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia a month previous. The fall saw him pull out of the race the next morning, effectively ending his season.

The damage sustained to his knee was so severe that Dumoulin then underwent several surgeries throughout the year to fix the problem.

In this time off the bike, the Dutchman deliberated his future, coming to the decision he was ready to break contract with Team Sunweb to change teams for the first time in his career.

Joining his home WorldTour squad, Dumoulin has already made it clear his season revolves around the Tour de France and winning the yellow jersey, meaning this bout of illness should not be too significant.

He will race as a trio of leaders alongside Vuelta a Espana champion Primoz Roglic and Tour podium finisher Steven Kruijswijk as they attempt to topple the Team Ineos Tour reign.

Team Ineos, who have won seven of the last eight Tour titles, have already announced that defending champion Egan Bernal and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas will lead the team with the option of five-time winner Chris Froome also racing if he can return to full fitness in time.