Jumbo-Visma Development Team talents shine in Tour de l’Avenir on highest international podium for U23 riders

Jumbo-Visma Development Team talents shine in Tour de l’Avenir on highest international podium for U23 riders

Anyone who watched last week’s Tour de l’Avenir will have seen that the Jumbo-Visma Development Team riders were riding in the lead. The youngsters successfully represented their national teams and more than held their own in a field of international U23 riders.

The Tour de l’Avenir got underway with two Team Jumbo-Visma professional cyclists and five members of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team. On behalf of the Netherlands, Tim van Dijke, Loe van Belle and Rick Pluimers were present. Future professionals Per Strand Hagenes and Johannes Staune-Mittet represented Norway, and Michel Hessmann was a member of the German team. Archie Ryan, a third-year U23 rider, rode in Ireland’s green jersey.

Following the Netherlands’ victory in the prologue, Van Belle clinched the yellow leader’s jersey after the first team time trial. Hessmann won the second team time trial with Germany and wore yellow for the next three days. The yellow and black riders, donned in their respective national jerseys, proved they could compete with the best in the high mountains on the last weekend. It resulted in four top ten finishes in the general classification in arrival town Villaroger.

For Head of Development Robbert de Groot, it was an exciting race to witness. “A ten-day race is special for the U23 category. The stages in the Tour de l’Avenir are nicely varied, with team time trials and stages on various terrains enabling riders to learn, develop, and showcase themselves. The past has shown us that riders who perform well in this race often achieve solid results in the WorldTour. That’s why it was good to see that we had a lot of guys at the start and that they performed well. Those are promising prospects for the riders and us.”

De Groot values his riders’ performance. “We more or less expected this Johannes and Archie’s performance. It is also almost a must for this type of rider, which is part of the reason why we have them on our team. We are happy that they met our expectations. Michel, in my opinion, outperformed these expectations. He performed very well in the mountains the past two days. He must have gained a lot from the professional races for him to be able to do this. This Tour de l’Avenir is a nice boost for Michel.”

“Ninth place in the final standings is very good for Loe”, De Groot continues. “But it appeals to me even more how he achieved that top ten position. Loe was always in the front, attacked frequently and raced assertively. In stage 6, it led to a second-place finish. He also raced an exceptionally strong race and was a crucial member of the Dutch team.”

"We are happy to have proof that our way of working results in international achievements."

Robbert de Groot

According to De Groot, the Tour de l’Avenir demonstrated Team Jumbo-Visma’s capacity to compete at a high level with many young riders. “Finishing in the top ten with four out of seven guys is very good. That demonstrates that we work well with our riders. We are happy to have proof that our way of working results in international achievements. There is always an opportunity for improvement, and we’ll keep moving in that direction over the next few years. Who knows, maybe we’ll take home additional victories in the future or maybe the overall title. That would be a great next step.”

De Groot also has an eye for riders who did not finish in the top of the classification but rode a strong Tour de l’Avenir. “Rick has played a significant part in his Dutch teammates’ possibilities and has performed very well. Tim crashed and had to abandon the race. Per’s performance may not always have been visible in the results, but he has meant a lot to the Norwegian team and especially to Johannes. He was virtually always present when it mattered most, also in the finals. That is very impressive for a first-year U23 rider. It’s wonderful to see how he has developed. Over these ten race days, his level increased.”

“It was a great week. We achieved great results and put in great performances. We can certainly continue with that”, De Groot sees a bright future.

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