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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 21, 2019

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. - Mother Teresa

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Team Jumbo-Visma fully committed to Tour de France

The team sent me this:

During the team presentation of Team Jumbo-Visma at HEMA in Amsterdam, the team of CEO Richard Plugge announced to go to the Tour de France with the three leaders Steven Kruijswijk, Primoz Roglic and new addition Tom Dumoulin. Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen focuses on stage wins in the Giro and the Vuelta. In those grand tours, Team Jumbo-Visma counts in the GC on George Bennett and Steven Kruijswijk respectively. Dumoulin makes his debut for Team Jumbo-Visma in the Tour of Valencia on 5 February and has also included the Amstel Gold Race and the Walloon Ardennes classics in his programme.

Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin has a heavy racing schedule planned. Sirotti photo

“The goal is definitely to win the Tour”, Dumoulin said during his first official appearance for the only Dutch World Tour team. “Full on, with three leaders! It was very nice to find out that all three of us are on the same page.” In France the trio of GC riders will be assisted by Wout van Aert, Tony Martin, Laurens De Plus, Sepp Kuss and Robert Gesink.

Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of the black-and-yellow formation, explained how the choice to go to the Tour with three leaders came about. “We have made an analysis of the last five years of all grand tours. What is the influence of the time trials on the final classification? What was the composition of the team that was able to conquer and defend a jersey? We found a common thread in that. We have to go to the Tour with the strongest possible team. Then we’ll have a chance to win. We’re going to do everything we can to conquer the yellow. We are very happy, proud and motivated to do so. I also think the supporters of Team Jumbo-Visma will think this is really cool.”

Kruijswijk finished third in the French stage race this year. With Mike Teunissen, for the first time in thirty years, a Dutchman rode in the yellow jersey. Kruijswijk thinks that his team will have a shot at the final victory next year. “We want to win the Tour as a team. You do that with the strongest riders possible. Look at who we can line up, with Tom, Primoz and myself as leaders. I think we can fight with these guys”, the Dutchman said. Vuelta winner Roglic concurs: “Our goal is to win the Tour. I want to be part of that. I definitely want to be in that team”, he said.

After three successful years in the Tour, Groenewegen focuses on both other grand tours. Milano-Sanremo and Brugge-De Panne are also on his programme again. Groenewegen: “You prefer to ride all three grand tours every year. But I also have to look at what suits me best. Where do I have the best chances? There are a lot of chances in the opening stages of the Giro. We pretty quickly realised that I should ride the Giro. And the Vuelta, starting in the Netherlands. Four years ago I joined the team and then I said that I want to win in all the grand tours. It will be a very nice year to do that.”

According to Zeeman, this has been well thought out. “We’ve sat together a lot and really thought about his career in general. He has extended his contract. Dylan will be on this team for the next four years. Then you wonder: what do you still want to achieve in your career? He is very clear about that: win as many races as possible and win stages in all grand tours. He will go to the Giro and the Vuelta with the best possible help. The Vuelta starts with a team time trial in the Netherlands. We couldn’t be more motivated. That’s a fantastic challenge and that’s why Tony Martin and Jos van Emden will start there too. That’s an absolute goal of the team. A start in the Netherlands, with two sprint chances for Dylan Groenewegen. We want to be very successful there.”

Especially Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen and Amund Jansen have ambitions in the Flemish spring, Team Jumbo-Visma goes to the Walloon classics with the same goals. This autumn Roglic won two Italian classics. Now spring is also calling. “We have seen that Primoz is developing in the one-day work. Tom is also getting a warm feeling from those races. It fits the calendar and the goals of the team. It’s a nice next step that we can ride those races with a strong team that’s well prepared”, Zeeman explained. Dumoulin agrees. “That classic period has a place in my heart. Especially the Amstel Gold Race of course. I really enjoy riding it again. I’ll really start with a winner’s mentality.”

Team Jumbo-Visma also welcomed a new co-sponsor in Amsterdam in Zuiver Vastgoed Groep. In addition, it was announced that Unilever and Heineken will remain loyal to the combined cycling and skating team. With this, Team Jumbo-Visma once again succeeded in strengthening the sponsor group. On Tuesday, it was already announced that co-sponsor HEMA will appear on the team’s apparel. “This makes me proud”, said Team Jumbo-Visma director Plugge. “These partnerships with leading brands make an important contribution to the further realisation of our objectives”, he said at the  presentation of both the World Tour Team and the brand new development team. The presentation was broadcast live on television.

Team Ag2r La Mondiale releases the first three races in 2020 for each of its riders

The team sent me this schedule:

Here are the first three races in 2020 for each of our riders:

Romain Bardet
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
– Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet will start his season at the Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

François Bidard
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– UAE Tour (23-29 February)

Geoffrey Bouchard
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Clément Champoussin
(Makes his professional debut 1 April)
– Route Adélie (3 April )
– Itzulia Basque Country (6-11 April )
– Tour du Finistère (18 April )

Mikaël Cherel
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Clément Chevrier
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Benoît Cosnefroy
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )

Silvan Dillier (Sui)
– Clasica de Almeria (16 février)
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 février)
– Omloop Hert Nieuwsblad (29 février)

Axel Domont
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February

Julien Duval
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (29 February )

Mathias Frank (Sui)
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )
– Royal Bernard Drome Classic (1er mars)

Tony Gallopin
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Ben Gastauer (Lux)
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Alexandre Geniez
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February)
– UAE Tour (23-29 February )
– Strade Bianche (7 March)

Dorian Godon
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
– Omloop Het Nieuwsblawd (29 February )

Alexis Gougeard
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February)
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )

Jaakko Hänninen (Fin)
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– UAE Tour (23-29 February )
– Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (23-30 March).

Quentin Jaurégui
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Pierre Latour
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )
– Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

Oliver Naesen (Bel)
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Lawrence Naesen (Bel)
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Aurélien Paret-Peintre
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February )
– Faun Ardèche Classic (29 February )

Nans Peters
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes-Maritimes (21-23 February

Harry Tanfield (GB)
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Tour de la Provence (13-16 February )
– Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (1 March)

Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)
– Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )
– Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (19-23 February )

Andrea Vendrame (Ita)
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

Clément Venturini
– Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (2 February )
– Etoile de Bessèges (5-9 February )
– Clasica de Almeria (16 February )

Alexis Vuillermoz
– Classic Loire Atlantique (28 March)
– Cholet Pays de Loire (29 March)
– Route Adélie de Vitré (3 April )

Larry Warbasse (EU)
– Santos Tour Down Under (21-26 January)
– Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (2 February )
– Trofeo Laigueglia (16 February )

THE NUMBER
1250
The AG2R LA MONDIALE team has just completed a training camp in Gandia (Spain). Over the course of nine training sessions, the group racked up 1,250 kilometers and 15,000 meters of climbing in 39 hours of riding. The next training campe will take place from January 16th to 24th in Altea (Spain).

THE NEWS
Venturini in Flamanville
Clément Venturini will attempt to defend his title as French Cyclocross Champion on January 12th at Flamanville. He will be the only AG2R LA MONDIALE rider to start the race.

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