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Team Jumbo-Visma's 'amore infinito' for the Giro d'Italia

Team Jumbo-Visma's 'amore infinito' for the Giro d'Italia

Friday, the Giro d'Italia starts in Budapest, Hungary. This three-week-long journey begins with an individual time trial in Verona. At Team Jumbo-Visma, many people have a special bond with the year's first grand tour.

Tom Dumoulin thinks the Giro is the best of the three grand tours. "I have ridden all the grand tours, but the Giro is closest to my heart. The Tour is also special, but the Giro is better for me in many ways. I really like this race. It is nice to be back here. Italy is a beautiful country and I like the Italian mentality. The fans' passion always creates a good atmosphere."

"I feel good and I am confident that I will be able to compete"

Tom Dumoulin

The Dutchman will appear at the start with a good feeling. "Over the last few weeks I have started to feel better and better. My altitude training went well too. I feel good and I am confident that I will be able to compete. I will try to get through the first stage well. Then there will be an individual time trial on the second day. We'll see where it leads."

With Edoardo Affini, the team also has an Italian rider at the start. For him, the Giro is extra special. "As an Italian, it's really nice to ride such a big race in my own country. We start in Hungary, but most stages go through Italy, obviously. It's already a beautiful race, but the surroundings make it even more beautiful. We will ride along some of Italy's most beautiful places. Think of nature, monuments and places with a long history. For me, that's really special."

He thinks the grand tour's history also contributes to the way of racing. "The Giro is a tough race. Everyone also knows the Giro's history and that's why everyone wants to do well here. The cycling level is always high. The weather also makes this race difficult. It's a fundamental characteristic of this race: it can be sweltering, but it can also be freezing."

For Jos van Emden, the best three weeks of the year are coming up. "Especially the Italians' passion appeals to me a lot. The spectators are great. In addition, the race itself has many beautiful stages and finals. The finish locations are always fantastic and the landscape is certainly more beautiful than in other countries. I also like to go on holiday to Italy for the good food and drinks."

"The Giro's total package is right"

Jos Van Emden

Van Emden finds the Giro more fun to watch and participate in than the other grand tours. "It's a fun kind of cycling in the Giro as there is a different battle because of the sometimes narrower roads. You really have to think. In this race you can hide away and pick your moment in the right places. That is different than riding on very wide roads. In my current role, I can also make a difference as a rider. The Giro's total package is right."

According to Koen Bouwman, the Giro is not only the grand tour that suits him best, but it is also the most beautiful. "The Giro is always the race I look forward to the most when the schedule is announced. It was soon clear I could ride it for the fifth time this year. The course suits me well and I also think it is the most beautiful. The people, from young to old, are always very enthusiastic. There are always many spectators along the side and there is a good atmosphere around the race. Besides, it is a very tough course. Sometimes you have days with terrible weather, but that suits me. I like to race in Italy, and as a holiday destination, it is also super nice."

As well as the atmosphere surrounding the race, Bouwman thinks that the unpredictability also makes the Giro unique. "There is always a nice peloton with all kinds of riders at the start. There are sprinters, climbers, time trialists and many attackers. That's why the race is so unpredictable. In the beginning, the leader's jersey can often go to smaller teams. They send riders in the breakaways who often have a chance to secure a podium place. In recent years I have also taken my chances in the breakaways. It makes you extra motivated at the start."

Team manager Addy Engels knows the Giro through and through. As a rider, he participated nine times; only Van Emden did better as a Dutch rider with eleven participations. Engels is now at the start of his tenth Giro as a team leader. "The Giro always evokes warm feelings. From nostalgia for my own career and because of the passion, the emotion, and Italy as a country. For me, it is the most beautiful race of the year."

"We start here with ambitions to ride a good classification", Engels continues. "We've been aiming for this since the winter as we have Tom and Tobias on our team. And Sam has shown that he's doing well. So with three guys, we have ambitions for an excellent final classification, but we haven't put a specific position on it. It is tough to estimate. If we look back in Verona and see that everything went well, I will be satisfied. We'll see what place we'll have in the final classification."

Every day, the team will fight for the classification. "The other guys will play an important supporting role. But we also try to go for a stage win whenever possible. For example, we have a couple of good time trialists on the team. In addition, we will try to show ourselves on the days that are suitable for a breakaway. Last year, we combined being in the breakaway and the GC ambitions. That way we can get good results, with a nice final classification as our main goal."

Line-up Giro d'Italia

Tom Dumoulin

Tobias Foss

Sam Oomen

Koen Bouwman

Edoardo Affini

Jos van Emden

Gijs Leemreize

Pascal Eenkhoorn

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