Graat on first year with Jumbo-Visma Development Team: "I really enjoyed it"

Graat on first year with Jumbo-Visma Development Team: "I really enjoyed it"

Tijmen Graat was one of the newcomers to the Jumbo-Visma Development Team early this year. The 19-year-old rider permanently joined the Dutch squad after several training sessions and tests and concluded his first season at the U23s at the Ronde de l'Isard earlier this month.

Graat is taking a break to rest and recover while reflecting on a successful season. "It was a fantastic period. I really enjoyed it. When I was allowed to come along on training camps initially, I quickly realised that the team's atmosphere and coaching staff were fantastic. That has all been confirmed in my first year. I notice that it contributes to my talent development." Without a doubt, the 19-year-old climber is happy with his decision. "I couldn't have made a better choice, and I'm delighted with it."

His team's accomplishments and his own cause him to feel proud. "We are a fantastic team. We just returned from the Ronde de l'Isard and raced there for five days. From the first day, we had the leader's jersey, and it was still in our possession after five days, while after two days, there were only four of us left. It's a fantastic feeling to pull that off together. You wear a very familiar jersey because everyone knows our team", the young rider says.

"I couldn't have made a better choice, and I'm delighted with it"

Tijmen Graat

The Dutchman places a high value on personal development. He enjoys reflecting on his own achievements as well as the goals he had before joining Team Jumbo-Visma's Development Team. "At the start of the season, my goal was to gain a lot of race experience and improve myself. That certainly worked out, as I rode more races this year than all the years prior combined. I am now also making great strides in riding in the peloton and downhill, things I was less good at.

When asked which race he looks back on with the best feeling, the Dutchman knows the answer right away. "As a team, the Ronde de l'Isard, but personally, the Tour Alsace. That's where I really got to know myself. To race on La Planche des Belles Filles, a famous climb, is really cool. I discovered how deep I could go while climbing this mountain. In the Ronde de l'Isard, we were outstanding as a team, which also gave a kick. I rode my first team time trial, and we won right away, which was very nice", said Graat, who also successfully completed his first year of university studies in business administration last year

During his rest period, the Dutch cyclist puts everything in order and considers matters that need his attention for the upcoming cycling season. "A focus for myself is to improve my downhill riding skills. I want to take strides in that with the help of the team. I also want to work on my explosiveness to be able to make a difference in sprints. Or break away from the competition on a climb. I have already started with that."

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