The Dutch outfit is one of the longest-running teams in the sport with their roots tracing back to the 1980s, yet the 2020 incarnation at Jumbo-Visma is arguably the strongest line-up the team has produced in years.
For stage races, they have a number of options, while their secondary line of super domestiques is as strong as any other WorldTour team. Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk will lead the line at the Tour de France but George Bennett and a raft of young riders will have their chances in other races. For the sprints, the team has Dylan Groenewegen, while their Classics line-up will be focused around Wout van Aert.
Manager: Richard Plugge
Squad size: 27
Average age: 28.2
How did they fare in 2019?
WorldTour ranking: 2nd
The team claimed wins throughout the season with standout performer Primoz Roglic winning all but one of the stage races he started in 2019. The Slovenian deservedly ended the year as the number one ranked rider in the world after winning the Vuelta a Espana, taking third at the Giro d’Italia and ending his season with a couple of impressive victories in Italy.
Elsewhere, Groenewegen won 15 races, Wout van Aert impressed until his unfortunate crash at the Tour de France, while more than 10 of their riders won races. Their collective strength was highlighted at the Tour de France, where the team won the opening stage, the team time trial, two more road stages and finished third overall through Kruijswijk.
They ended the year by signing Dumoulin and then announcing the Tour de France team in December.
It wasn’t a perfect year – there were some hard lessons to be learned at the Giro d’Italia in May – but Jumbo-Visma made huge strides in 2019.
Primoz Roglic: The road to July is long and there will be plenty of bumps along the way, but even at this stage Roglic looks like the most viable GC option for the Tour de France. His 2019 season was simply spectacular, and with a Vuelta win under his belt he has earned the right to lead a team in the biggest test of all. His programme leading into the Tour de France has a traditional feel to it, although he will not race until Paris-Nice in March, but by the time the Dauphine rolls around in June the 30-year-old should be close to his best.
Tom Dumoulin: The former Giro d’Italia winner joins from rival Dutch squad Team Sunweb. On the positive side, Dumoulin is reportedly over the knee injury that wrecked his 2019 campaign, and with new motivation and a point to prove the former Tour de France runner-up heads into the new season as a major threat in almost every stage race he starts. However, it’s worth remembering that he’s not raced since last June, and it might take a few months before we see him firing on all cylinders.
Dylan Groenewegen: One of the best sprinters in the world, Gronewegen has the capacity to win consistently during the season. There’s no Tour this year, but the Dutchman should still pick of wins in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.
Wout van Aert: One of the most exciting riders to break through onto the road scene in recent years, Van Aert has the talent to be almost anything he wants in the sport. He can win the Classics, sprint against the fast-men, and even win time trials – as his ride at the Dauphine proved last year. The first few months of 2020 might prove slow going, simply because of the long rehab the 25-year-old has had to endure, but he’s a class act through and through.
Steven Kruijswijk: One of the most underrated stage racers in the modern peloton, but Kruijswijk could be crucial in deciding who wins the Tour de France in July. Even the most hardened Kruijswijk fans would have to admit that the 32-year-old will start the Tour as the team’s third choice leader, but his diesel-like qualities in the mountains and his ability to launch long-range attacks – as he did in 2018 – could be a deciding factor in dismantling Team Ineos’ armor.
Their stage-racing core is arguably the best in the world, and while they don’t have Team Ineos' Egan Bernal in their ranks, Kruijswijk, Roglic and Dumoulin, poses enough in their locker to leave Dave Brailsford tossing and turning at night.
It’s not just the leading trio that stands out. The likes of Laurens de Plus, Sepp Kuss, Van Aert, Robert Gesink, and the revitalised Tony Martin make up a versatile Tour squad. Their strength in depth can be judged by the riders that didn’t make the cut for the Tour. So, if the team started July’s race with a ‘B-squad’ they would still line up with George Bennett, Dylan Groenewegen, Mike Teunissen, Antwan Tolhoek, Amund Grondahl Jansen, Lennard Hofstede, Koen Bouwan and Timo Roosen. That’s a team that would still win stages and compete over three weeks.
In other departments, the team have bolstered their youth ranks with the signing of Tour de l’Avenir winner Tobias Foss.
When it comes to the Classics a fair amount rests on how quickly the team can get Van Aert up to speed, because without him they don’t really have another potential winner. Teunissen is certainly no slouch, but the departure of Danny van Poppel deprives the team of an alternative card to play in Belgium.
Until Jumbo-Visma actually win the Tour de France there will be question marks over their credentials. Is Dumoulin’s knee fixed? Can they forge unity between their leaders at the Tour? Can any of them really beat Bernal? And are they experienced enough in the team car? The watching world will have to wait several months before answers can be provided, but this is still the most robust and well-equipped team to take on Ineos at the Tour in recent years.
Editor in Chief - Cyclingnews.
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