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Team Jumbo-Visma's material philosophy led the team to work with several new partners as of January 1. SRAM will be the supplier of the groupset. All rid-ers will use Reserve wheels in the coming year, and the team will switch to Nimbl for footwear and to Oakley for glasses.
By January 1, 2023, around 180 bicycles must be transformed. There are training bikes, race bikes, and time trial bikes for a total of sixty riders. This enormous project was started by Team Jumbo-Visma mechanics towards the end of October. Two weeks after American SRAM was formally introduced as the new equipment partner. To impart all the essential expertise to the team's mechanics, a delegation of corporate professionals went to the Team Jumbo-Visma Service Course in Den Bosch.
The technical staff and a pool of more than twenty mechanics are currently making every effort to meet the deadline. Once more, the slogan "winning together" assumes a new dimension. Head of Performance Equipment, Jenco Drost, is responsible for planning the project with the Service Course staff. "Dismantling a bike is done in less than an hour", Drost said. "But building up takes much longer. We have been working non-stop on that since the end of October to ensure that every racer had access to at least one adapted bike during the training camps in December."
Why would an ambitious team choose to part ways with a dependable supplier after a year filled with great success? Performance manager Mathieu Heijboer: "Team Jumbo-Visma is always seeking ways to develop, and we firmly feel this move will advance us. Together with SRAM, we can create team-specific materials to take our performance to the next level."
SRAM and Team Jumbo-Visma are forming a unique collaboration from which both parties will gain. " SRAM is focused on being the most innovative and high performance component manufacturer in the world, and they expect continuous feedback from our team", explained Heijboer. "Our knowledge and experience are therefore precious to them. In turn, we are pleased to work with SRAM to commission unique development because it enables us to excel. The best goods are produced by synergy.”
Richard Plugge, general manager of Team Jumbo-Visma, adds: "To perform at the highest level, all factors have to be optimal. In terms of material, we are ready for the next step in our development. Together with SRAM, we can take this step."
"Met SRAM kunnen we maatwerk laten ontwikkelen en dat stelt ons in staat om te blijven excelleren"
Riders outside the team tested SRAM's components earlier this year, and several mechanics were heavily involved in the decision-making process. After fruitful discussions and positive advice from Heijboer and Drost, the team took the decision. "Apart from Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos, the majority of the Team Jumbo-Visma athletes don't yet have any experience with SRAM", stated Heijboer. "That holds true for the mechanics as well. As a result, the changeover will receive a lot of attention in the near future. The technicians will be in touch with Jenco, and I will concentrate on the riders. It's crucial that they ride the bike with as minimal alteration in posture as possible. Since the brake levers are being changed, we are adding a new contact point to the handlebars. Additionally, the shifting will soon change. You could believe these are insignificant details, but the riders will notice them. We will provide them with appropriate guidance to avoid injuries."
The switch to SRAM offers new options for pedals and shoes – previously also from Shimano – with which the riders of Team Jumbo-Visma will ride from January 1. Things are also changing in terms of wheels. In the new season all riders will ride with Reserve. This was already the situation with the Women's Team and the Development Team during the previous season. Drost: "Several wind tunnel sessions have shown that the Reserve wheels are exceptionally aerodynamic. They are especially developed for our Cervélo bikes and in close cooperation with Cervélo engineers. This ensures that the 'system' is perfectly correct, which is the essence of our material philosophy."
Starting January 1, Team Jumbo Visma has selected Nimbl as its shoe partner. This brand's footwear performs exceptionally in stiffness (power transfer in combination with lightweight (pedaling efficiency) and aerodynamics. The shoes are created in Italy and are some of the lightest available.
Speedplay will be a supplier of the pedals starting in the new year, while glasses will be supplied by Oakley.
Drost and Heijboer understand that the first races with the new materials will be exhilarating. That goes for both the riders and the technical staff. Because "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", despite careful preparation and good guidance from all parties involved. "It may take some time before everyone is fully familiar with the new materials", Drost said. "That is a matter of time. I expect to soon see positive results from this switch."