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Team Jumbo-Visma is preparing for the first World Tour race of the season. In Au...
During the team presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma at HEMA in Amsterdam, the team of CEO Richard Plugge announced to go to the Tour de France with the three leaders Steven Kruijswijk, Primoz Roglic and new addition Tom Dumoulin. Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen focuses on stage wins in the Giro and the Vuelta. In those grand tours, Team Jumbo-Visma counts in the GC on George Bennett and Steven Kruijswijk respectively. Dumoulin makes his debut for Team Jumbo-Visma in the Tour of Valencia on 5 February and has also included the Amstel Gold Race and the Walloon Ardennes classics in his programme.
“The goal is definitely to win the Tour”, Dumoulin said during his first official appearance for the only Dutch World Tour team. “Full on, with three leaders! It was very nice to find out that all three of us are on the same page.” In France the trio of GC riders will be assisted by Wout van Aert, Tony Martin, Laurens De Plus, Sepp Kuss and Robert Gesink.
Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of the black-and-yellow formation, explained how the choice to go to the Tour with three leaders came about. “We have made an analysis of the last five years of all grand tours. What is the influence of the time trials on the final classification? What was the composition of the team that was able to conquer and defend a jersey? We found a common thread in that. We have to go to the Tour with the strongest possible team. Then we’ll have a chance to win. We’re going to do everything we can to conquer the yellow. We are very happy, proud and motivated to do so. I also think the supporters of Team Jumbo-Visma will think this is really cool.”
Kruijswijk finished third in the French stage race this year. With Mike Teunissen, for the first time in thirty years, a Dutchman rode in the yellow jersey. Kruijswijk thinks that his team will have a shot at the final victory next year. “We want to win the Tour as a team. You do that with the strongest riders possible. Look at who we can line up, with Tom, Primoz and myself as leaders. I think we can fight with these guys”, the Dutchman said. Vuelta winner Roglic concurs: “Our goal is to win the Tour. I want to be part of that. I definitely want to be in that team”, he said.
After three successful years in the Tour, Groenewegen focuses on both other grand tours. Milano-Sanremo and Brugge-De Panne are also on his programme again. Groenewegen: “You prefer to ride all three grand tours every year. But I also have to look at what suits me best. Where do I have the best chances? There are a lot of chances in the opening stages of the Giro. We pretty quickly realised that I should ride the Giro. And the Vuelta, starting in the Netherlands. Four years ago I joined the team and then I said that I want to win in all the grand tours. It will be a very nice year to do that.”
According to Zeeman, this has been well thought out. “We’ve sat together a lot and really thought about his career in general. He has extended his contract. Dylan will be on this team for the next four years. Then you wonder: what do you still want to achieve in your career? He is very clear about that: win as many races as possible and win stages in all grand tours. He will go to the Giro and the Vuelta with the best possible help. The Vuelta starts with a team time trial in the Netherlands. We couldn’t be more motivated. That’s a fantastic challenge and that’s why Tony Martin and Jos van Emden will start there too. That’s an absolute goal of the team. A start in the Netherlands, with two sprint chances for Dylan Groenewegen. We want to be very successful there.”
Especially Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen and Amund Jansen have ambitions in the Flemish spring, Team Jumbo-Visma goes to the Walloon classics with the same goals. This autumn Roglic won two Italian classics. Now spring is also calling. “We have seen that Primoz is developing in the one-day work. Tom is also getting a warm feeling from those races. It fits the calendar and the goals of the team. It’s a nice next step that we can ride those races with a strong team that’s well prepared”, Zeeman explained. Dumoulin agrees. “That classic period has a place in my heart. Especially the Amstel Gold Race of course. I really enjoy riding it again. I’ll really start with a winner’s mentality.”
Team Jumbo-Visma also welcomed a new co-sponsor in Amsterdam in Zuiver Vastgoed Groep. In addition, it was announced that Unilever and Heineken will remain loyal to the combined cycling and skating team. With this, Team Jumbo-Visma once again succeeded in strengthening the sponsor group. On Tuesday, it was already announced that co-sponsor HEMA will appear on the team’s apparel. “This makes me proud”, said Team Jumbo-Visma director Plugge. “These partnerships with leading brands make an important contribution to the further realisation of our objectives”, he said at the presentation of both the World Tour Team and the brand new development team. The presentation was broadcast live on television.