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Riders Jumbo-Visma finally together again on the road

Riders Jumbo-Visma finally together again on the road

With training camps in Gerlos (Austria) and since Thursday in Tignes (France), the riders of Jumbo-Visma are preparing for the restart of the cycling season. Together with Jos van Emden, Koen Bouwman and Bert-Jan Lindeman, among others, the first kilometres were ridden in a group on Wednesday in the Zillertal after weeks of solitary training rides at home or races on the indoor trainer.

"The relief is palpable", said Tim Heemskerk, together with Marc Lamberts the trainers in Austria, to the Dutch news medium ANP.

Eleven riders met for the first time this week after the coronavirus stopped the peloton in March. They came from the Netherlands, from Norway (Tobias Foss), from Belgium (Maarten Wynants) or from Germany (Christoph Pfingsten). All equally hungry, noted Heemskerk who drove to Austria together with Lindeman. "Bert-Jan was also tired of the laps around Emmen. The riders love to cycle in a different environment, go into the mountains and chat together again. And maybe also to be away from home again."

The test results via the INSCYD Power Performance-Decoder Test had been promising. Heemskerk: "Such a long period of consistent training, good food, taking enough rest and without competition and travel have done them well. Also because the first months after the lockdown everyone took it easy for a while. Not 30, 35 hours of training per week, but a maximum of 20 hours. Only the last weeks we have been training again in blocks and then you can see that the level skyrockets."

The time of e-races is almost over. Next weekend, for example, Lindeman will have to take part in the virtual Tour de France. Heemskerk: "Those are obligations. For the bridging it was nice that those races were there, but the guys are now more in the mood of: we can do it again."

The company that is now in Austria will see Heemskerk leave for the Tour of Burgos, the Tour of Poland, the Strade Bianche or Milan-Sanremo. "But first we are going to work here for two weeks. We will have to look for the most beautiful roads where we can train both on the flat and uphill. It's different than in Tignes where it's really an altitude course."

The riders ride in groups with the men who ride well uphill and the heavier riders separated. And all with the necessary measures to keep corona out of the way. Jumbo-Visma occupies a separate wing of the hotel and eats separately from the other guests. It still takes some getting used to. "Passing a water bottle isn't there. And to the riders we mainly say: use your common sense."

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