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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 22, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

In nine lifetimes, you'll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you. - Michel de Montaigne

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2019 Team Jumbo-Visma (formerly LottoNL-Jumbo) presented

Here's the report the team sent me:

The presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma was dedicated to the unveiling of the new team apparel and team logo, to looking back at a successful 2018, to sponsor news and to the presentation of the sports plans. At the headquarters of Jumbo in Veghel, the cyclists and skaters of Team Jumbo-Visma stood side by side, sharing a mission: winning together.

2019 jumbo Visma

2019 Team Jumbo-Visma

The kick-off of the sporting collaboration between the Dutch supermarket chain and the Norwegian giant in business software also marked the official start of an innovative food policy. Following the example of football club PSV, the cycling team are the first to start working with Jumbo Foodcoach, later the skating team will follow. Foodcoach is an app that offers personalized support in tasty and healthy food choices, specifically tailored to the competition and training schedule.

Foodcoach was developed in close cooperation with the performance staff of Team Jumbo-Visma, including food experts Nancy van der Burg and Professor Asker Jeukendrup. The Jumbo Foodcoach app offers suitable meals. At the push of a button, the ingredients can be added to the shopping list in exact portioning and be delivered to your home via an automatic link to Jumbo will also provide all meals for cyclists who are ‘on the move’, during training camps or before races.

Richard Plugge, the director of the cycling team, also announced an ambitious development plan, with a training team and a cyclocross structure. “It is a concrete plan”, said Plugge. “It is going to happen, even if it is still being developed and needs to be fleshed out further. All lights are green, especially because Jumbo and Visma support it. It will be deployed in the autumn of 2019 and in 2020.”

“We are very happy with the cooperation with the cycling and skating team”, Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd said. “It offers us the opportunity to inspire millions of customers to live healthier lives. It also enables us to demonstrate our expertise in the field of healthy eating. Speed skating and cycling are two typical Dutch sports that fit us perfectly because of our company’s Dutch roots with international ambitions.”

Plugge and fellow director Jac Orie of the skating team also presented a major new sponsor: Simpel.NL. Simpel.NL supports both sports. Due to restrictions imposed by the Dutch KNSB ice skating association, the name of the telephone company currently only appears on the cycling attire.

Simpel.NL’s Managing Director Jasper de Rooij: “The athletes of Team Jumbo-Visma know how to ‘connect’ people in the Netherlands through their performances. We do so by offering the cheapest telephone subscriptions. But it is even more important that you sometimes put your phone away, go to the gym, get inspired by the performance of Team Jumbo-Visma. We support these top athletes, so that they can enthrall the Netherlands in the years to come as well.

Besides the aforementioned developments, the presentation was, of course, mainly about the athletes and their sporting ambitions. The cycling team once again aims for at least thirty victories. Last season they won 33 races. For the coming year, the team strives for more ‘qualitative’ big wins, including a podium place in a grand tour. Primoz Roglic, fourth in this year’s Tour, is going to try to win the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia. In July, he’ll support Steven Kruijswijk in France.

Sportive Director Merijn Zeeman clarified the intentions the team has with regard to the Slovenian: “As soon as we know the starting list, there will undoubtedly be four or five riders who can win the pink jersey. We believe Primoz can do the same. This influences our entire organisation. On all possible levels we will do everything in our power to support him in the best way we can. We will look for the best possible helpers. We will look at the course and at the personalities. For all those riders, the buildup of their season is aimed at being as good as possible in the Giro d’Italia.”

“I think that the Tour de France’s course suits me well this year”, said Kruijswijk, who ended fifth in this year’s ‘La Grande Boucle’ and fourth in the Vuelta. Before, he also finished fourth in the Giro. “I’m now looking to take the last step, to get on the podium of a grand tour. That’s what I want to go for next year. For me, the podium is the ultimate goal.”

As anticipated, a lot of attention was also paid to the latest addition to the team: Wout van Aert. “I would like to develop myself further. I am someone who is always looking for a new challenge. Last year, I rode well in the classics. The hunger for more has become very big”, the cyclocross world champion expresses his sporting ambitions. These perfectly matched the plan that Zeeman developed for the classics for the short and especially the longer term.

“In recent years we have been getting better and better at sprinting and the classifications. The classics may have been overlooked a bit", the Sportive Director says. “There, we didn’t have as much quality as we have in sprinting and the classifications. Within our capabilities we started to work with it. In the coming years, it will be one of our main priorities”, he explains. “We will take our time for this.”

“For this we have a very young, talented selection. We managed to get some good reinforcements”, he concludes optimistically.

Team Jumbo-Visma 2019 (27 riders):
Primoz Roglic, Bert Jan Lindeman, Koen Bouwman, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Danny van Poppel, George Bennett, Steven Kruijswijk, Tony Martin, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Dylan Groenewegen, Lennard Hofstede, Jos van Emden, Laurens de Plus, Neilson Powless, Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen, Tom Leezer, Floris de Tier, Taco van der Hoorn, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Daan Olivier, Mike Teunissen, Sepp Kuss, Antwan Tolhoek, Wout van Aert, Maarten Wynants.

Mathew Hayman to remain at Mitchelton-SCOTT after road racing career has ended

Mitchelton-Scott sent me this release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT will continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge of 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman as he moves into the next chapter of his life in 2019.

Mathew Hayman

Mathew Hayman racing in the 2017 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

Hayman is set to retire from professional road racing at the Tour Down Under in January and will move into a ‘Special Projects’ position for the Australian outfit for the remainder of the year.

The role is a win-win for both parties, as Mitchelton-SCOTT retain Hayman’s invaluable knowledge and leadership skills and the 40-year-old is offered a varying role that will allow him to experience all aspects of the business side of the sport; including mentoring, directing and technical advising, as well as sponsorship and marketing.

Mathew Hayman:
“There were times that I did think I could walk away from the sport, but in some ways I think who I am to give away this knowledge without helping someone. Not only will that will help me go from athlete to the normal world, but I think I can help make a different to the careers of some young riders too.

“I probably could have spent more time planning but you are so focused on your career that before you know it, you’re nearing the end.

“Not knowing what is going to suit me and having this opportunity from the team to be able to test the waters on a few different fronts, I am pretty thankful for. That’s not an opportunity everyone gets, and I’m really going to relish being able to try some mentoring, maybe some DS races here and there, and working on the sponsorship side as well.

“The big advantage now is that it is all still fresh. In five or ten years’ time, I will be more removed from the sport. I will still have the knowledge and my experiences but it’s the next 12 months when it’ll still be really fresh – it’ll be just weeks or months ago that I was racing myself. While it’s so fresh, I think we need to try and use it.

“If I could use that knowledge and help see someone else achieve something they didn’t think they were capable of, that would be a success for me.”

Shayne Bannan:
“We’ve already seen, particularly through his six seasons with us, the leadership qualities of Mat Hayman.

“Those qualities, along with so many years of experience, don’t disappear when you retire from professional road racing and we see it as a real opportunity to use them to our advantage, particularly with our younger roster.

“Mat has been a selfless contributor and a key figure in our team’s culture and development over the years. We feel lucky to have him continue with us but also proud that we can offer him a transitional opportunity that will allow him to identify a future focus that will best satisfy him over the years to come.”

Team Sunweb hires new coaches

The team sent me this release:

Team Sunweb are pleased to welcome two new coaches and two new professionals to their performance staff for the 2019 season. Both Ben Lambrechts (NED) and Nicolas Marche (FRA) join the team as coaches, whilst Piet Rooijakkers (NED) and Narelle Neumann (AUS) join the team as an R&D expert and head of science, respectively.  

Narelle Neumann (AUS) 
Neumann is an Australian scientist with a PhD title. Her work is a combination of fundamental and applied science and involves testing assumptions, analysing large volumes of complex data, identifying trends and relationships and effectively communicating results. Neumann joins Team Sunweb in the role of head of science, to be overall responsible for leading the different expert groups at Team Sunweb, including nutrition, training, scientific, big data, bike fitting and R&D.

Piet Rooijakkers (NED) 
A rider for Skil-Shimano between 2006 and 2010, Piet Rooijakkers (NED) makes a return to the team as their newly appointed R&D expert. After his pro career, Rooijakkers worked in the accounting industry, expanding his club team towards UCI Continental level as a hobby. One of its first members back in 2006, Rooijakkers rejoins the team to aid managing technical research and development projects.

Ben Lambregts (NED) 
Lambregts joins the team following 15 years coaching with the UCI Continental Delta Cycling Rotterdam. His new role with Team Sunweb will focus mainly on the team's Development program as helping U23 riders to grow has been his speciality in these years.

Nicolas Marche (FRA) 
Marche joins Team Sunweb after working for the British outfit Trek Drops Cycling Team during the 2018 season, and the women's Team FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope between 2016-2017. With experience working in the women's WorldTour, Marche's new role in the team will see him work as a coach for the team's Women's program.

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