Vingegaard kicks off cycling season at O Gran Camiño

Vingegaard kicks off cycling season at O Gran Camiño

For the second year in a row, Jonas Vingegaard will open the cycling season at O Gran Camiño. The Danish defending champion will aim for stage wins and the general classification. Together with sports director Robert Wagner, Vingegaard looks ahead to the four-day stage race, which starts on Thursday, 22 February.

Vingegaard has fond memories of O Gran Camiño and can't wait to start his cycling season at the Spanish race. The 27-year-old rider won three stages and the general classification in 2023. A Tour de France victory followed later that year as an absolute highlight.

If sports director Robert Wagner has his way, this year will be no different. "Once again, we made a deliberate choice for this race. It was a choice with the bigger picture in mind. After the race in Spain, Jonas has two WorldTour races scheduled for the spring: Tirreno-Adriatico and Itzulia Basque Country. Camiño is ideal for getting in the necessary hard kilometres after training at altitude", he said.

"The last few months have been all about training camps, I can't wait to start racing again"

Jonas Vingegaard

"We also really enjoyed the stage race last year. The organisation is excellent, the stages are challenging, and there is a time trial again. This discipline is essential for the rest of the season. This year's Tour de France ends with a time trial in Nice."

Vingegaard urged the team management to put him on the start list for O Gran Camiño again. "I enjoyed the race in Spain last year. I won three stages and the general classification in my first race of the season. It's always nice to return as the reigning winner. The goal for this year is clear: we will try to defend my title."

Newcomers and young talents

Team Visma | Lease a Bike will do so with several newcomers and young talents alongside Vingegaard. Ben Tulett and Cian Uijtdebroeks will wear the yellow and black jersey. "Both guys are having a great time with the team. They have been well looked after and already feel at home. Both riders are looking forward to their first race kilometres with the team", Wagner said.

Menno Huising and Tijmen Graat will also be racing in the north-west of Spain. The two youngsters will join the Dutch team's WorldTour squad from Team Visma | Lease a Bike Development in 2025 and will be able to experience the 'real thing'. Wagner: "It's a very conscious decision to let young riders get used to the level of this kind of racing. It is completely in line with the philosophy of our organisation."

"Allowing young riders to participate in these types of races is completely in line with our philosophy"

Robert Wagner

"This means not only racing at U23 level, but also at a higher level. The competition will be tougher, especially here in Camiño with several WorldTour teams competing", explained the sports director, who is pleased with the development of his talents. "They already trained with the big boys in January. Menno and Tijmen are curious and ask questions of Jonas and other older riders. They want to learn, so the team allows them to ride here."

Training camps

Vingegaard has also had a solid training period and looks forward to his first race kilometres of the year. "The last few months have been all about training camps. It went very well. In Tenerife, we put the finishing touches to our preparations for the start of the season. After a wonderful time in Spain, I can't wait to start racing here."

Team Visma | Lease a Bike's seven-man selection for O Gran Camiño consists of Jonas Vingegaard, Wilco Kelderman, Johannes Staune-Mittet, Cian Uijtdebroeks, Ben Tulett, Menno Huising and Tijmen Graat.

Tijmen Graat & Menno Huising

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