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Tom Dumoulin says that he has a new lease on life following his move to Team Jumbo-Visma in 2020.
The Dutch Grand Tour star spoke with FloBikes at the start of the 2020 season, which marked an end to his eight-year tenure with Team Sunweb. Despite ending his season in June and leaving his contract two years early, he said the transition had not been 'hell.'
"No. Are you kidding? It's been really nice. Yeah, definitely not Hell," he explained.
"It'd been Hell until like the summer. But as soon as soon as I knew my future with my knee [following] my second operation, I knew that it was going to be all right."
As the leader of Team Sunweb, Dumoulin won the 2017 Giro d'Italia and the World Championship Time Trial, and went on to place second in the 2018 Tour de France.
In 2019, he crashed during stage four of the Giro d'Italia injuring his left knee. He tried to return to racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but the severity of the injury ultimately sidelined him for the remainder of 2019.
Behind the scenes, Dumoulin's relationship with Team Sunweb deteriorated. Together with team boss Iwan Spekenbrink, they agreed to end Dumoulin's contract early.
At that point, things began to look better for Dumoulin's future.
"I knew what team I would ride for, for the coming years. I knew that I would change teams. I knew that it was I was going to be up for a new start of my career, the second part of my career."
After signing a contract with Jumbo-Visma, all Dumoulin had to do was focus on recovering from his knee injury.
"It's been sort of like a sabbatical midway through my career, a forced one, but yeah, when I look back it's been very helpful and also very mind clearing."
The team already announced its Tour de France line up for 2020. American Sepp Kuss will race with the team's three leaders: Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic, and Steven Kruijswijk.
"It's it's been done in the past by Ineos, it's been done by Movistar… a lot of teams. Those teams get the same questions about their leaders, but I cannot really answer them any different than those guys," Dumoulin said.
"It's just that we need to have faith that all leaders. Steven, Roglic and me, we all want to win the Tour de France, preferably ourselves of course. But the team has a big goal to win it, with the team, and it doesn't matter who it is from the three of us. We have the golden opportunity to shine."