Nordhagen debuts for Team Visma | Lease a Bike with cross-country skiing world title

Nordhagen debuts for Team Visma | Lease a Bike with cross-country skiing world title

Jørgen Nordhagen's future lies in cycling. But less than a fortnight ago, the Norwegian won the cross-country skiing world championship. It's time to learn more about the cycling talent who will debut for Team Visma | Lease a Bike Development in 2024 and has a contract until 2027. He talks about his cross-country skiing world title, his personal development, his first year with Team Visma | Lease a Bike and his plans for the future.

He is the world's best junior cross-country skier over 20 kilometres. Nordhagen won this title in Slovenia. "The world title came as a surprise to me”, the 19-year-old Norwegian said. "Everything came together at that moment. It was one of my best cross-country skiing races ever, and everything went according to plan. The conditions were also perfect. It became a very tough race, which is what I love.”

Nordhagen admits the success was partly due to a change in approach - courtesy of his new cycling team. "I had a lot of contact with Robbert de Groot, Head of Development of Team Visma | Lease a Bike, about nutrition and goals. I adjusted a few things in my programme. It has worked very well, both in cross-country skiing and in cycling. I feel even stronger and fitter than before.”

"I feel even stronger and fitter"

Jørgen Nordhagen

De Groot got to know Nordhagen more than two years ago. "As a team, we have good contacts in the Norwegian sports system. Jørgen comes from the same breeding ground as Tobias Foss, Johannes Staune-Mittet and Per Strand Hagenes. We didn't doubt his potential. That's why we offered him a contract at the end of 2022, starting this year”, De Groot explained. Nordhagen's contract runs until the end of 2027. He will ride for the Development Team this year but will make his WorldTour debut in 2025.

"The first few months with the team have been excellent”, Nordhagen said on joining the team. "Unfortunately, due to my alternative programme, I could not be part of the team at the training camp in Spain. But I will be able to join the training camps soon. I am really looking forward to it. My first road race will be at the beginning of April. This was my last winter of cross-country skiing, so my focus is now on cycling. I like the dynamics and the spirit of the team. It will be my first year as a U23 rider. I want to contribute to the team's performance, but I am also ambitious to get good results myself.”

"The important thing now is to concentrate on cycling"

Robbert de Groot

"Cross-country skiing and cycling have much in common”, De Groot explained. "They are both endurance sports. Endurance is essential. For athletes like Jørgen, it is possible to combine cycling and skiing. We also helped him prepare for his cross-country goals last winter. The important thing now is to take a break and concentrate on cycling.”

De Groot is adamant when asked about Jørgen's qualities on the bike: "He feels at home in the peloton. Jørgen has an excellent time trial in his legs, but he is outstanding in the mountains. We see a lot of potential. Now it is a question of guiding him in the best and most appropriate way in our training programme.”

The young Norwegian shares De Groot's excitement: "I look forward to riding with and in the WorldTour team. I hope to develop in the coming period and can hardly wait to step up. But I am realistic and know I still have a long way to go. I can't wait for my cycling season to start.”

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