Jumbo-Visma locks in Kruijswijk, Gesink and Van Emden for another two years

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Jumbo-Visma has signed Steven Kruijswijk, Robert Gesink and Jos van Emden for at least two more years, with the Dutch team granting contract extensions to the trio who it described as not only committed riders but crucial in shaping attitudes within the squad.

All three are long-term members, having been with the organisation for well over a decade through a number of changes, including team name changes as sponsors have altered and the merger of the professional cycling team with a professional speed skating team.

“Jos, Steven and Robert have helped to create a new culture in the team,” said team manager Richard Plugge. “From about 2013 they have contributed to that change. They helped shape our way of working and interacting with each other.

“They were riders who saw that things had to and could be done differently. I like that very much. We have been through a lot together in the meantime. That makes it extra nice that they will stay with us for at least two more years.”

Kruijswijk, who came third at the Tour de France in 2019 and is expected to be a key part of the Jumbo-Visma team supporting Primož Roglič this year, said he feels at home at Jumbo-Visma.

“Everything the team has been through in recent years I have also experienced. I have not only seen the team grow, but also myself. We have always done that together,” said the 33-year-old Kruijswijk who joined the Rabobank Continental team in 2007. “For the future, I still see an important role for myself and I hope to achieve the results as I have shown in the past.”

The 34-year-old Gesink – an experienced climber with ten Tour de France participation under the belt – also welcomed the understanding that comes with the long association. Gesink joined the Rabobank Continental team in 2006 along with van Emden.

“The team and I have been working together for so long that by now we know where the other is coming from,” said Gesink. “The team has gained momentum in recent years. I would like to continue to be part of that. I am only 34 years old and I have the feeling that I can still be around for a while. I enjoy what I do and my level is still good. It has become very consistent over the years.”

The oldest of the trio, at 36, van Emden said that while having input and guarding the culture of the team was valued the crucial factor was that he can make a difference on the bike.

“If that is no longer possible, it stops. If you can also make a difference, that’s a bonus,” said the 2019 and 2010 Dutch time trial champion. “Teammates like Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert ensure that you stay hungry. The arrival of Tony Martin has also ensured that I have become better as a supportive rider,” said the 2019 and 2010 Dutch time trial champion.

“Primož and Wout are two super men to work for. I don’t want to sell anyone short, but those are the two best leaders I’ve ever ridden for. Both on a physical and personal level. It feels great to be able to support them. As long as I can be of added value on the bike, I want to continue with what I’m doing now.”

Sepp Kuss will ride on with Jumbo-Visma through 2024

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Sepp Kuss will ride on with Jumbo-Visma through 2024

Sepp Kuss at the UAE Tour.

Sepp Kuss has signed an extension to stick with Jumbo-Visma through the 2024 season, the team announced on Friday.

The 26-year-old American has been with the squad since 2018, when he came over from the Rally team. Since then, he has emerged as a key support rider for the Grand Tours while also taking some strong results of his own, including the overall win and three stages at the 2018 Tour of Utah, a stage win at the 2019 Vuelta a España, and a stage win at the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Moving forward, Kuss is expected to have a few more opportunities to ride for his own chances.

“I’m really happy to extend with the team. For me, over the past three years, it has felt really comfortable for me,” Kuss said.

“Everybody on the staff and all the riders make Team Jumbo-Visma a very nice environment for me. The special thing about the team is that everybody understands me as an athlete and, more importantly, as a person. That way we get the most out of each other. I always get opportunities and that helps me stay motivated. We are always striving for something big at this team and that’s really exciting and really special. So I hope to continue that and keep making some good memories.”

Kuss will be among the overall contenders next week at the Volta a Catalunya, and he is set to race the Tour de France and potentially the Vuelta a España later this year.

“Sepp is one of the best climbers in the peloton,” said Jumbo-Visma sport director Merijn Zeeman. “He has grown into a rider who takes his own chances, but he is also super important in supporting the leaders. He is increasingly becoming a leader himself and we will guide him in discovering his limits in the upcoming years.”

Cycling news - ‘They could be burned out’ - Jumbo-Visma ‘walking tightrope’ says Bradley Wiggins

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Bradley Wiggins has warned cycling super team Jumbo-Visma that they are “walking a tightrope” and that they could be “burned out” by the time of the Tour de France if they overextend themselves.

Jumbo-Visma were devastated to lose the yellow jersey on the penultimate stage of the 2020 Tour when Tadej Pogacar somehow overturned the lead of Jumbo’s big GC star Primoz Roglic in a sensational time trial performance.

There is no question that the Dutch outfit are a formidable force, though. Roglic himself atoned for his Tour disaster by winning the subsequent Vuelta Espana and in 2021 has already impressed at Paris-Nice with three stage victories.

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Meanwhile, Wout van Aert is a genuine superstar blessed with an array of talents, coming second in Tirreno-Adriatico, fourth in Strade Bianche and, on Saturday, third in a thrilling conclusion to Milan-San Remo.

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However, with top rider Tom Dumoulin having taken a break from the sport , Wiggins feels that chasing victories week after week may not be the smartest strategy for Jumbo-Visma in the context of their developing rivalry with Ineos Grenadiers, who build their whole campaign to peak at the three Grand Tours and know exactly what it takes to win the biggest race of them all.

“They’ve spread quite thin, Jumbo-Visma,” said Wiggins on the latest episode of his podcast. “Primoz chasing Paris-Nice. There were calls of a lack of support for Van Aert at Tirreno-Adriatico going for the GC. Lack of team-mates at Milan-San Remo in the final. But their objective is the Tour de France and you can’t really chase everything.

“It begs the question, where do you put your eggs and where do you put your team? It’s a very, very splintered field in terms of the quality and what people are capable of. We are talking about a guy here in Van Aert who is capable of winning San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Tirreno overall, assisting someone who can win the Tour de France in Primoz Roglic.

“Also the question’s being asked if he can win a Grand Tour himself, to which the answer is yes. Second in the world TT last year, second in the world road race last year. The guy is phenomenal. We are now talking about, should we have more support for him?

Jumbo, they need to watch out. This is when Ineos do it really well. They are not panicking across all boards here.

“They have crept up, crept up, maybe took a bit of criticism for their lack of performances this year but here we are in Catalunya and what a team they have put up . They are serious, make no mistake. Their goals are the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France and they know how to do that.

“I think Jumbo, since last year, they could be accused of spreading themselves very thin and chasing everything a little bit too much whereas last year with the lockdown and the lack of racing before the Tour de France, it almost favoured them because they selected their Tour team the previous December if you like, and they spent a lot of time together and they were very fresh coming into the Tour.

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“At this rate, I think that they could be pretty burned out as a team come the Tour de France, and not have the strength that they had last year. They have already lost Tom Dumoulin, through other reasons. They are walking a tightrope, I think, whereas Ineos know how to do it. Tried and tested.

“It’s not about these races so far. It’s about the Tour de France and I think their lack of being present, although they (Ineos) are present in certain areas, but certainly on the results end of the table, will probably bode them well come July.”

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