Team Jumbo-Visma aims high again after most successful season ever

Team Jumbo-Visma aims high again after most successful season ever

With the most victories of any team, the top spot in the UCI rankings, the Tour de France victory, and the rainbow jersey at the World Championships Time Trial, Team Jumbo-Visma had an incredibly successful 2022. Since managing director Richard Plugge formed the squad ten years ago, striving for excellence is in the team's DNA, so expectations for the upcoming season are once again very high.

At the Move exposition and event centre in Amsterdam, Plugge and sportive director Merijn Zeeman discussed their top priorities for 2023, which include winning the monuments Ronde van Vlaanderen "and/or" Paris-Roubaix as well as a double triumph in the Tour and the Giro. In addition to performing, Jumbo-Visma is diligently cultivating talent in all of its cycling sections.

The Jumbo-Visma team presentation started with a homage to Karel van Eerd in front of a packed theater near the Olympic Stadium and a global online audience. "For us, Mr. Van Eerd served as both an animator and an inspiration. With Karel, we lose a fan and a supporter of talent", Plugge said before applause sounded for the founder of Jumbo Supermarkets, who passed away last week. Then a flashback of highlights led to the presentation, which was full of ambition. There was a look back at the Vuelta team time trial victory in Utrecht, along with Robert Gesink's first-ever red jersey, and a chat with Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard.

They also reflected on how the team has developed over the past ten years. "I wanted to start 'blanco' when I took over the team from Rabobank ten years ago", Plugge explained. "With two distinct goals. After the sport's tarnished years, I wished to restore cycling to the general public. The most exciting thing for me was that people weren't just impressed by our victory with Jonas in the Tour de France last year, but especially by how we did it. Everyone complimented us on that. That was what I envisioned ten years ago. I also intended to change things on the business side of cycling. There have already been some moves in that direction, and I hope to make some even bigger ones soon." Jumbo-Visma has plenty of appeal, new partners such as SRAM, Oakley and BetCity prove. As a result, improvements in performance and development are possible.

Wout van Aert, Dylan van Baarle, Wilco Kelderman, and Tour champion Vingegaard took turns joining Merijn Zeeman in revealing the sporting plans for the upcoming season. Primoz Roglic was forced to cancel at the last minute due to personal circumstances. The Slovenian will be played out as a leader in next year's Giro d'Italia. "A race I love but haven't won yet", Roglic said during the training camp in Spain that concluded yesterday. "I'm still recovering from surgery, but by May, I hope to be in good shape. In any case, I will do everything I can to achieve that."

"With this collective, I am confident we can win with one of our riders"

Merijn Zeeman

Zeeman anticipates securing a monumental victory by the spring. "The Tour of Flanders and/or Paris-Roubaix. We want to start with the best possible preparation and aim for the highest possible result. Dylan van Baarle, among others, is a crucial addition to our strong classic core. With this collective, I am confident we can win with one of our riders."

With Vingegaard, Team Jumbo-Visma is aiming to prolong the Tour victory. "We figured out how to defeat Pogacar last year. We know his strengths and the areas in which Jonas is superior to him. We return to the Tour with a solid plan, and we believe that we can aim for yellow again with Jonas", Zeeman said. During the team presentation, the Vuelta was hardly discussed. There's a good reason for that, the sportive director explained. "December is too early to talk about it. Last year, we intended to highlight this grand tour early because it started in the Netherlands, but the reality is that the plan you make in the winter is no longer valid in the summer. We'll check everyone's progress in June as the preparation process won't start until then. So please don't ask us yet who will be at the start in Spain. It is still too early for that and the course has not even yet been determined."


After a brief interlude with newcomers Tom Gloag, Jan Tratnik, and Attila Valter, the discussion shifted to talent development in the capital of the Netherlands. That theme prevails in the Jumbo-Visma Development Team and increasingly in the Word Tour Women's Team. Six new riders have joined the women's team, led by Rutger Tijssen. They are all still at the beginning of their professional cycling careers. Fem van Empel is the most well-known of them. Under the guidance of Jumbo-Visma, the cyclocross rider hopes to advance her road and mountain bike career. Staff members and riders will come together to fine-tune the individual race programs and season objectives during the training camp in Alicante in January. The women’s team will again be at the start in all major races.

CyclingClassNL, the development trajectory established by Jumbo-Visma, the Dutch cycling federation, and the Dutch Olympic committee, has already been successful in leading riders to various teams. In turn, manager Robbert de Groot's development team is also very successful. Not only in terms of talent development but also in terms of performance and access to the professional peloton. Zeeman: "Our World Tour and development team consists of 44 riders. For every rider, we have a tailor-made plan that strikes the ideal mix between performance and personal growth. The same goes for our women. We were the best men's team in the world in 2022. We will all continue to work extremely hard to be in the lead in the coming years, even though that is not a goal in and of itself for the upcoming season. Mr. Van Eerd's pet saying was, "He who possesses the youth has the future." That's how it is. We want to win at the highest level while developing for the future."

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