Jumbo-Visma sports director Merijn Zeeman has revealed to AD.nl that the only riders in the team who are assured of a place on the Tour de France roster are Primož Roglič, Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard. The rest of the spots will be determined after the Tour de Suisse.
At the start of the year, the team indicated it was almost certain Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss and Rohan Dennis would get a Tour de France start but Zeeman said, "We want to keep some more options open", according to AD.nl
Rohan Dennis, who led the Tour de Romandie for four stages and finished eighth overall, is down to compete at the upcoming Critérium du Dauphiné with Kruijswijk, Van Aert and Roglić, while Kuss will race the Tour de Suisse.
"We have looked at the course in great detail in recent months and we have to arrive at the best composition," Zeeman said.
The first week of the Tour de France has some tricky stages, with a start in Copenhagen and three stages in Denmark before arriving in France for a lumpy stage from Dunkerque to Calais. The fifth stage to Arenberg includes 11 sectors of cobbles and the team might benefit from some more rouleurs over pure climbers. Zeeman is going to select the five riders from a group of eight.
"We want a broad group to be ready to start in the most important race of the year. We are also still dealing with corona[virus]. Boys can drop out at the last minute, also because of falls and injuries. We have to be ready for that."
Jumbo-Visma landed both Roglič and Vingegaard on the podium last year, while this season they'll also push for the green sprinter's jersey with Van Aert, which would mean the team will have to prepare to support him in the intermediate sprints and in the lead-out for the tougher sprint stages.
Mike Teunissen, Robert Gesink, Tiesj Benoot, Nathan van Hooydonck and Christophe Laporte are also candidates for the Tour de France team. "All these riders are ready for the Tour, but unfortunately we have to disappoint some of them. That is hard, but also top sport. At the same time, it is also a logical consequence of the development within the team. The level is very high," Zeeman said.
"The chance for those eight riders is still high that they will go. It was also explained to them that we want to have the widest possible group that is ready to perform. A place in the Tour is very expensive.”
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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.