Hessmann looks ahead to pro debut in Portugal

Hessmann looks ahead to pro debut in Portugal

The Volta ao Algarve will take place in Portugal from February 16-20. For Michel Hessmann, this race marks his professional debut. This winter, the 20-year-old rider switched from the Development Team to the World Tour team.

Hessmann already had some opportunities to ride among the pros last season. Still, it's different now that he's a pro himself. "I went along on training camp and noticed that it is different. It all goes a bit faster and more people guide you. The guidance was already very good with the Development Team, but I have the feeling that I am guided even more intensively now."

Hessmann expects to notice the most significant changes mainly during the races. "I've already noticed a difference in preparation. More hours will be spent on that. There will also be more people along for the race. Particularly in multi-day races, this can make a big difference. A food coach preparing your food is quite different from eating in a hotel. I'm curious to see how it will go."

The German has a clear goal in mind. "I want to find my role within the team this season. I also want to see what I'm worth at World Tour level, particularly in the time trial." A time trial is scheduled for day four in Portugal. The German time trial champion in the Under-23s is looking forward to it very much.

In addition, he wants to try to help the team as much as possible in Portugal. "The intention is that I support Tobias. In the run-up to the climbs I have to keep him out of the wind as well as I can and drop him off in a good position. On the flatter days, I have to keep him out of danger. During those days, I can also play a role as a possible lead-out for Pascal."

Team Jumbo-Visma has been successful in the Algarve, with sprint victories by Dylan Groenewegen and an overall win by Primoz Roglic. With Tobias Foss at the start, the team will go for a good final ranking in the general classification.

Line-up Volta ao Algarve

Tobias Foss

Robert Gesink

Pascal Eenkhoorn

Michel Hessmann

Johannes Staune-Mittet

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