Team Jumbo-Visma and sports director Verhoeven part ways
After years of successful cooperation, Nico Verhoeven will leave the support sta...
The presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma was dedicated to the unveiling of the new team apparel and team logo, to looking back at a successful 2018, to sponsor news and to the presentation of the sports plans. At the headquarters of Jumbo in Veghel, the cyclists and skaters of Team Jumbo-Visma stood side by side, sharing a mission: winning together.
The kick-off of the sporting collaboration between the Dutch supermarket chain and the Norwegian giant in business software also marked the official start of an innovative food policy. Following the example of football club PSV, the cycling team are the first to start working with Jumbo Foodcoach, later the skating team will follow. Foodcoach is an app that offers personalised support in tasty and healthy food choices, specifically tailored to the competition and training schedule.
Foodcoach was developed in close cooperation with the performance staff of Team Jumbo-Visma, including food experts Nancy van der Burg and Professor Asker Jeukendrup. The Jumbo Foodcoach app offers suitable meals. At the push of a button, the ingredients can be added to the shopping list in exact portioning and be delivered to your home via an automatic link to Jumbo.com. Jumbo will also provide all meals for cyclists who are ‘on the move’, during training camps or before races.
Richard Plugge, the director of the cycling team, also announced an ambitious development plan, with a training team and a cyclocross structure. “It is a concrete plan”, said Plugge. “It is going to happen, even if it is still being developed and needs to be fleshed out further. All lights are green, especially because Jumbo and Visma support it. It will be deployed in the autumn of 2019 and in 2020.”
“We are very happy with the cooperation with the cycling and skating team”, Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd said. “It offers us the opportunity to inspire millions of customers to live healthier lives. It also enables us to demonstrate our expertise in the field of healthy eating. Speed skating and cycling are two typical Dutch sports that fit us perfectly because of our company’s Dutch roots with international ambitions.”
Plugge and fellow director Jac Orie of the skating team also presented a major new sponsor: Simpel.NL. Simpel.NL supports both sports. Due to restrictions imposed by the Dutch KNSB ice skating association, the name of the telephone company currently only appears on the cycling attire.
Simpel.NL’s Managing Director Jasper de Rooij: “The athletes of Team Jumbo-Visma know how to ‘connect’ people in the Netherlands through their performances. We do so by offering the cheapest telephone subscriptions. But it is even more important that you sometimes put your phone away, go to the gym, get inspired by the performance of Team Jumbo-Visma. We support these top athletes, so that they can enthrall the Netherlands in the years to come as well.
Besides the aforementioned developments, the presentation was, of course, mainly about the athletes and their sporting ambitions. The cycling team once again aims for at least thirty victories. Last season they won 33 races. For the coming year, the team strives for more ‘qualitative’ big wins, including a podium place in a grand tour. Primoz Roglic, fourth in this year’s Tour, is going to try to win the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia. In July, he’ll support Steven Kruijswijk in France.
Sportive Director Merijn Zeeman clarified the intentions the team has with regard to the Slovenian: “As soon as we know the starting list, there will undoubtedly be four or five riders who can win the pink jersey. We believe Primoz can do the same. This influences our entire organisation. On all possible levels we will do everything in our power to support him in the best way we can. We will look for the best possible helpers. We will look at the course and at the personalities. For all those riders, the buildup of their season is aimed at being as good as possible in the Giro d’Italia.”
“I think that the Tour de France’s course suits me well this year”, said Kruijswijk, who ended fifth in this year’s ‘La Grande Boucle’ and fourth in the Vuelta. Before, he also finished fourth in the Giro. “I’m now looking to take the last step, to get on the podium of a grand tour. That’s what I want to go for next year. For me, the podium is the ultimate goal.”
"I think that the Tour de France’s course suits me well this year"
As anticipated, a lot of attention was also paid to the latest addition to the team: Wout van Aert. “I would like to develop myself further. I am someone who is always looking for a new challenge. Last year, I rode well in the classics. The hunger for more has become very big”, the cyclocross world champion expresses his sporting ambitions. These perfectly matched the plan that Zeeman developed for the classics for the short and especially the longer term.
“In recent years we have been getting better and better at sprinting and the classifications. The classics may have been overlooked a bit", the Sportive Director says. “There, we didn’t have as much quality as we have in sprinting and the classifications. Within our capabilities we started to work with it. In the coming years, it will be one of our main priorities”, he explains. “We will take our time for this.”
“For this we have a very young, talented selection. We managed to get some good reinforcements”, he concludes optimistically.
Primoz Roglic, Bert Jan Lindeman, Koen Bouwman, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Danny van Poppel, George Bennett, Steven Kruijswijk, Tony Martin, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Dylan Groenewegen, Lennard Hofstede, Jos van Emden, Laurens de Plus, Neilson Powless, Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen, Tom Leezer, Floris de Tier, Taco van der Hoorn, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Daan Olivier, Mike Teunissen, Sepp Kuss, Antwan Tolhoek, Wout van Aert, Maarten Wynants.
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