Team Jumbo-Visma outside top ten at season opener in Australia
Team Jumbo-Visma has not managed to secure a top-ten place during a rainy overture to the 2023 cycling season. Leader Rohan Dennis finished in fifteenth place in the prologue of the Tour Down Under. Tim van Dijke appeared to be headed for a top-ten ranking, but the Dutchman's plans were derailed by a slip in a slippery corner.
The weather conditions played a significant role in the five-and-a-half kilometre race against the clock. Around six o'clock Australian time, the early starters were still riding on a dry road surface before a summer rain shower hit Adelaide hard. "And that's a loss for the complete field of participants", sports director Addy Engels said. "It's unfortunate that not everyone could start in similar conditions. Due to a heavy downpour, there were relatively large time differences today. But things are what they are. We can't change anything about it."
The goal for Team Jumbo-Visma going into the season's opening stage race was to ride a good classification with Dennis. "We are still moving forward with that at full speed. Rohan finished today in fifteenth place, so he is still near the top of the GC. He rode a solid race against the clock. The next five days are all important. We must be on the lookout for opportunities. On paper, stages three and five appear to be the most treacherous, but as I previously stated, anything can happen anytime."
"The next five days are all important"
At the first intermediate sprint, Van Dijke set the eighth intermediate time, but he crashed into the pavement in one of the last corners. As a result, his chances for a good result had vanished, but the young Dutchman managed to finish the prologue. "In fact, Tim was doing pretty well. As you can see, an accident can happen anywhere, even when you least expect it. Fortunately, he was able to continue on his way."