The history of Team Visma | Lease a Bike
Team Visma | Lease a Bike is a cycling team with Dutch roots. In 2022, the team, then known as Team Jumbo-Visma, won the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. That year, the World Tour team finished at the top of the UCI ranking. In 2023, Team Jumbo-Visma made history once again by winning all three major cycling races in the same season. In May, Primoz Roglic won the Giro d'Italia, followed by Jonas Vingegaard's second Tour de France victory in July, and finally, Sepp Kuss claimed the red jersey in the Vuelta d'España in September. This trilogy is unparalleled in the cycling world, as no other team has achieved this feat before.
At Team Visma | Lease Bike, innovation, knowledge sharing, talent development, and collaboration are central. There is a new culture of excellence that embodies 'Dutch pride' as a core value, thanks to dedication, development, and athletic achievements. This applies not only to sports but also to commercial and communication aspects. Through victories at the highest level, world-class athletes, and powerful campaigns, we inspire a new generation and an ever-growing community of athletes and fans. Management, coaches, all staff members, athletes, and partners share knowledge, collaborate, and push each other to greater heights with the goal of winning together!
As of 2013, Richard Plugge has been the general director of the cycling organization. After the history with Rabobank, the team continued as Blanco Pro Cycling Team. Belkin became the title sponsor of the team from the Tour de France onwards and remained so for one and a half seasons. In 2014, Plugge announced a collaboration with the BrandLoyalty speed skating team. The cycling and skating teams continued under a new name, Team LottoNL-Jumbo.
“The first years were a matter of survival. The most crucial task at the time was maintaining the sustainability of our team”, Plugge remembered. In 2015, only six races were won. “At the time, we decided to go back to the drawing board and draw up a new vision with several people”, sporting director Merijn Zeeman said. “We put our heads together and sketched our ideas on several flipcharts. We decided to draw up a long-term vision. Sometimes people would make fun of us, especially in the beginning. We chose to invest in talent development, equipment, workforce, knowledge, skills and nutrition, among other things. That whole process did not happen overnight.”
"The first years were a matter of survival, the most crucial task at the time was maintaining the sustainability of our team"
Jumbo remained the team’s primary sponsor when Lotto decided to stop sponsoring the team. Later, software firm Visma joined in, and together they were able to focus on the yellow dream—winning the Tour de France. “Thanks to Jumbo Supermarkets, we laid the foundation for a long-term vision. That was around 2016, and with the arrival of Visma in the winter of 2018, we could accelerate further. From those years on, we formulated the dream. It was the moment we said: We want to win the Tour. That has now been achieved”, Richard Plugge commented regarding Visma’s entry at the time. In fact, Team Jumbo-Visma became the world’s top cycling team in 2022. The squad held a dominant lead at the top of the UCI rankings. With 48 victories, Team Jumbo-Visma was the most successful team in the world that year.
The Team Jumbo-Visma skating team took a different direction as of January 1, 2024, partly due to the departure of their main sponsor, Jumbo. In September 2023, Plugge stated, 'The cycling team has gained a much more international focus and appeal now that we are among the best cycling teams in the world.' The search for the main sponsorship has different implications for both parties.
Visma will become the new primary sponsor effective January 1, 2024. The European software company has signed an indefinite contract. A second sponsor was found in Lease a Bike, which already joined the cycling team as a sub-sponsor on January 1, 2023. With the combination of Visma and Lease a Bike as main sponsors, a new beginning is made that builds on everything the team has achieved and built in recent years. This is evident in the team's uniform, which still prominently features yellow and black. These colors are rooted in Yellow B., the new name of the company behind the cycling team and the replacement for Blanco Pro Cycling.
Jumbo will remain a founding partner and closely involved with Team Visma | Lease a Bike.
Many successful athletes have come or gone through the team. Among others, Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk, Dylan Groenewegen, Laurens ten Dam, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin, Wout van Aert, Marianne Vos, Riejanne Markus, Primoz Roglic, Sepp Kuss, and Jonas Vingegaard have achieved great success under Team Jumbo-Visma and its predecessors. Twice winner of the Tour de France, winner of two cycling monuments, four-time winner of the Vuelta a España, winner of the 2023 Giro d'Italia, as well as stage victories and wins in secondary classifications in the three Grand Tours, and titles in national and international championships.
Team Visma | Lease a Bike is more than just a World Tour team. Starting in 2020, Team Visma | Lease a Bike expanded as a Development Team with the goal of training talented young riders to become professional cyclists. Over the course of three years, several young riders have made the transition to the professional peloton. Olav Kooij, Johannes Staune-Mittet, and Per Strand Hagenes are examples of riders who have successfully made the transition. In the near future, Tijmen Graat and Menno Huising will also make the switch.
As of 2021, Team Jumbo-Visma also has its own women’s cycling team. It meant the next step in the team development for Team Jumbo-Visma. In line with the organisation’s philosophy, Team Jumbo-Visma Women strive for growth and development to lift the team to great heights. Plugge: “It is fantastic to make a significant contribution to national and international women’s cycling. With the arrival of this women’s team, we have completed Team Jumbo-Visma.”
"With the arrival of this women’s team, we have completed Team Jumbo-Visma"
Dreams have become a reality, but we dream on. Our mission is not yet accomplished. Team Visma | Lease a Bike will continue on its chosen path because there is still so much to win together!