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Over the past three years, Team Jumbo-Visma Women has become a force to be reckoned with in the women's peloton. The team has enjoyed great success, including two stage wins at the Giro, two stage wins and the green jersey at the Tour, and victory in the 2023 Vuelta team time trial. But the team has also had its challenges. After three years of trial and error, the team is ready for the next step.
Sports technical manager Rutger Tijssen (49) has been in charge of Team Jumbo-Visma Women for over a year. For more than 20 years, the Amsterdam native worked at the top of speed skating. "Cycling is a team sport", he says, pointing out an important difference. "To be successful, you have to build a strong team", Tijssen says. He is increasingly looking to the successful WT men's team for inspiration. "We want to create more cohesion and cross-fertilisation between the different teams of Team Jumbo-Visma", he says, also referring to the Development Team.
The women's team will look different. Maarten van Kooij will join Tijssen as performance coach, while Jan Boven and Jos van Emden will be race coaches. Race and performance coaches Carmen Small and Lieselot Decroix have found new challenges elsewhere, and performance coach Marieke van Wanroij will leave the team at the end of the season after three years of loyal service.
"We are building with our women's team. It has gone through ups and downs in recent years"
According to sporting director Merijn Zeeman, this has created a missing link in integrating his stable between the different cycling teams. "We are building with our women's team. It has gone through ups and downs in recent years. By creating a more explicit link between the women's and men's teams in all areas, we expect to see further development in the coming years. I am delighted we have brought together experience, talent and a willingness to learn in this coaching team. I am therefore confident that our women's team will become increasingly dominant."
"There must always be progress within the group. On all fronts, both physically and mentally"
Mijntje Geurts and Margaux Vigie have already been announced as replacements. Tijssen's latest signing is Lieke Nooijen. The Dutch rider is known as a strong time trialist. Nooijen expects to develop in this discipline with her new team. "It is great that I will soon be the new teammate of the Dutch time trial champion (Riejanne Markus). I expect to learn a lot from her. I also hope to improve in other areas", Nooijen says. "I like a tough race and am not afraid of long sprints and lead-outs. I also want to prove myself in the spring classics."