Twenty facts about birthday boy Wout van Aert
Hurray! Wout van Aert turns 28 today! Let's celebrate his birthday with twenty f...
Mike Teunissen will leave Team Jumbo-Visma after competing for them for four years. At the Belgian Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, he will continue his career. Hearing his name will prompt many cycling enthusiasts to think of the 2019 Tour de France. We reflect on his incredible stage victory and yellow jersey as the first Dutchman in thirty years.
The professional peloton is preparing for a new Tour de France in Brussels. “It was the first time in a long time that a sprinter had a chance to take the yellow jersey”, Teunissen recalled. “We had a world-class sprinter on the team in Dylan Groenewegen, and we had been working towards this stage all year. We wanted to take the yellow jersey with Dylan and write cycling history."
That scenario was trashed a few kilometres before the end. Groenewegen crashed, and Teunissen made the most of the situation. “I heard there was a crash behind me. When I turned around, Dylan was gone. I wasn’t sure, but I thought he would be there. He couldn’t have just vanished, of course. I tried to make the best of it”, Teunissen remembered.
"It appeared out of the blue, I never anticipated this"
The rest is history. In the sprint, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider defeated Peter Sagan by a tire width, making him the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey since 1989. “I felt like I had won. But because it was so surreal to me, I began to have my doubts. I never anticipated this. It appeared out of the blue. Really a fantastic day”, Teunissen said with a smile.
“I shared the room with Dylan. I recall that neither of us could sleep. He was still suffering from the crash, of course. I still had to think things through. The Tour is the Tour. Nothing else can be compared to it. The amount of media coverage had a significant impact on my team and me”, the Dutchman said. “Fortunately, Dylan did win a stage after that. That was also our goal for that Tour. He will never again have a chance to win the yellow jersey, though.”
“I had that yellow jersey framed, and it has a nice spot in the corridor so I can look at it every day. And as of recently, there is another jersey hanging next to it”, Teunissen refers to the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey that he got to wear for one stage this year. “I am eternally grateful to the team for that. The opening time trial in Utrecht was extraordinary. You encounter this wall of sound immediately after starting at the first corner. I had never experienced that before.”
"I had that yellow jersey framed, recently there is another jersey hanging next to it"
Teunissen also recalled his victories in Dunkerque and the ZLM Tour and Wout van Aert’s Tour stage win on the Champs-Élysées in the 2021 Tour. “I have experienced so many great moments with Team Jumbo-Visma. I will always be grateful for what that time in my career has given me.”