Team Jumbo-Visma aims for top results in Il Lombardia and Paris-Tours
This weekend marks Team Jumbo-Visma and the Development Team’s final classic cycling events of the year. Both teams will participate in Paris-Tours in France, while in Italy, the team is at the start of Il Lombardia, the season’s last cycling monument. Sports directors Addy Engels, Arthur van Dongen and Sierk Jan de Haan anticipate a successful end to an already successful cycling year.
In contrast to last year, Il Lombardia goes from Bergamo to Como. “The start of the race is now the final from last year. That will be challenging right away”, sports director Engels says. “The final is always quite difficult, while the middle part looks much easier. I anticipate a strong group, with the favourites only appearing in the front in the final.”
"Jonas appeared at ease and made some solid efforts during the recon ride"
One of those favourites is Jonas Vingegaard. The Dane participated in the CRO Race to get ready for Lombardy. The Tour de France winner won two stages in the six-day stage race and came one second short of first place overall. “Jonas has shown that he is in good shape and feels good. He appeared at ease and made some solid efforts during the recon ride”, Engels says.
The Danish rider will, therefore, appear at the start in good shape. The Team Jumbo-Visma riders must climb several challenging hills in the final. This Saturday’s final will include the San Fermo Della Battaglia and the Civiglio twice. “It will explode on the San Fermo’s first pass. On the Civiglio, we must have one or two riders next to Jonas. After that, it’s up to him and a select group of top favourites who will fight for the win.”
The team will also start this Sunday with a strong line-up in France. “In the past, Paris-Tours has demonstrated that its finish is difficult, including hills and gravel stretches. Fortunately, we have several options. With Christophe Laporte and Mike Teunissen, we have two strong riders for a small front group. Olav Kooij is our asset in case a sizeable breakaway fight for victory”, Van Dongen says.
"Paris-Tours is a very nice conclusion to a fantastic season for Olav"
In the Münsterland Giro on Monday, Kooij won by outdueling many elite sprinters, earning him his 12th victory of the year. “He has made great progress this year. He has already won numerous races and adapted well to the professional peloton. I think Paris-Tours will be a very nice conclusion to a fantastic season for him”, the sports director concludes.
On Sunday, the Jumbo-Visma Development Team will also be at the start of Paris-Tours. Five cyclists from the yellow-black team will compete in the U23 race. Despite this, sports director De Haan anticipates an exciting race. “There is a strong field of participants at the start. But with a good plan and preparation, we can rely on our strengths.”
Jos van Emden
Tim van Dijke
Tosh Van der Sande
Darren van Bekkum
Per Strand Hagenes