Jumbo-Visma have named the riders who will support Primoz Roglic at the 2019 Giro d’Italia. The Dutch squad are the first to confirm their line-up for the corsa rosa, which gets underway in Bologna on May 12.
Roglic will be able to rely on strong backing in the high mountains of the Giro, thanks to Robert Gesink, Laurens De Plus and Antwan Tolhoek. Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Paul Martens and Koen Bouwman completing a formidable squad.
The core of the Giro team is the same as the one that helped Roglic to overall victory at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico so far this season. The eight-man roster has been training together at altitude in Sierra Nevada in recent weeks.
"We find it very important that everyone has the same preparation. But it’s also about the group being together already so that they won’t see each other for the first time in Bologna," said head of performance Mathieu Heijboer in a video released by the team. "We’re really making a plan here."
A latecomer to cycling, Roglic only stepped up to WorldTour level in 2016, but has enjoyed increasing success each season. He won the Chianti time trial at the 2016 Giro and won at Serre Chevalier on the 2017 Tour de France.
Roglic won the Tour of the Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia in 2019, before placing fourth overall at the Tour de France, where he soloed to another stage victory, over the Aubisque to Laruns.
The 29-year-old has a perfect record thus far in 2019, winning both the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico. He is scheduled to ride the Tour de Romandie as his final tune-up for the Giro. "I'm training with the focus on the Giro d'Italia, but it'll also be the first time I target a Grand Tour as a team leader," Roglic said after winning Tirreno-Adriatico last month.
Twice a top-10 finisher in the Tour de France, Robert Gesink will ride in a supporting role on this Giro, and he paid tribute to Roglic’s attributes as a leader. “He’s always working very hard and that’s motivating," Gesink said. "When I look at myself, I’m now preparing myself like I did when I went for the general classification in a Grand Tour. That’s the level I want to reach."
Jumbo-Visma team for the Giro d’Italia, May 12-June 2: Primoz Roglic (Slo), Robert Gesink (Ned), Paul Martens (Ger), Koen Bouwman (Ned), Antwan Tolhoek (Ned), Jos van Emden (Ned), Tom Leezer (Ned), Laurens De Plus (Bel).