Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Team Jumbo-Visma will head to next season’s Tour de France with a selection with ‘broad qualities’. That’s what sportive director Merijn Zeeman said today after the presentation of the 2022 Tour route. “It is a beautiful and varied Tour de France. To win the Tour you need a team that is good on different terrains. There are fewer sprint opportunities than last year. But every stage contains something that requires specific qualities and that can create shifts”, he said.
The 109th edition of La Grande Boucle starts with three stages in Denmark. “It’s always special to start in another country”, Zeeman said. “There is a lot of enthusiasm and the Tour will attract a lot of people. We’ve seen that in the Netherlands as well. With his second place, Jonas Vingegaard was the revelation of this year’s Tour. We haven’t discussed the composition of our team at all yet, but there’s a good chance Jonas will be part of the selection. That would be very special for him.”
In stage five, the cobblestones return to the Tour de France. At the end of the first week, the first mountain ranges loom with the Vosges and the Alps. In the third week, three more tough Pyrenees stages are on the program. On the penultimate day, a relatively long time trial of forty kilometres will decide the classification. The Tour traditionally finishes on the Champs-Élysées.
According to Zeeman, the route guarantees spectacle. “The first week is characterised by the time trial, wind and cobblestones. That makes things hectic. It will ask a lot of the team. If we put a climber’s team together, you can already get into trouble in the first week. Then we go to the Alps via La Planche des Belles Filles. The latter is a real troublemaker because the finish is on the gravel path again. As in 2019, big differences can arise there. I noticed that we go over the Galibier twice in the Alps, so we ride a lot at altitude there. Then a transition to the Pyrenees, with steep climbs there as well. The variation is that we’re also going to see longer climbs there with a lesser gradient. We finish with a time trial of forty kilometres, which is quite long. But with this course there can also be big differences early on. The course is a significant factor in cycling. With the insights we have, we will now brainstorm about the team. The Tour de France is the main goal, so we are going to make a good plan for that.”