Sports Director Jumbo-Visma: Tom Dumoulin has a different experience in premium sport

Nierman: “Tom is just a great guy, it’s a pity it turned out that way. But I think we also have to be honest about that: those three years with us on the team were not as successful as we had hoped.”

Teammate Mirren Zeman says the team and Dumoulin parted well: “We don’t blame Tom for anything, and Tom doesn’t blame us for anything. Of course, the outside world often asks: Are we angry with each other or do we blame each other? Like that.”

Only young riders

Zeman said recently that he only wants to have young riders on the team in the future, not “upcoming” athletes. “What I wanted to say with this statement is that since leaving Rabobank, we have been building this team for ten years. Little by little, we have invented our philosophy: what we are good at and what our strength is, but also when it does not work well or when people do not fit well into this Culture. Tom just developed a different take on the best sport. It’s no worse or better than how Team Jumbo-Visma works, but it’s different.”

Choose your own goal

According to Zeman, it is best for Dumoulin to choose his target and chart the path to it himself. “He asks if he needs help with food or items, but he really wants to be in the driver’s seat.”

Ultimately Jumbo-Visma wants to do it together, Ziman says: “We see it as a joint, shared responsibility. We want to train adults who make their own decisions, but always remember that we are in this process together.”

Self development

According to Zeman, Dumoulin was exactly on that line when he joined the team. “He just figured out over the years where he gets the most fun and satisfaction. We got into trouble quite often, because Jumbo-Visma generally works differently.”

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