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Jumbo-Visma extend with Kuss, Bouwman and Tolhoek

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Sepp Kuss wins the final stage and overall at the Tour of Utah

Sepp Kuss wins the final stage and overall at the Tour of Utah (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Koen Bouwman leads the LottoNL-Jumbo train on a descent during stage 5 in Utah

Koen Bouwman leads the LottoNL-Jumbo train on a descent during stage 5 in Utah (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Antwan Tolhoek on the podium in the Japan Cup

Antwan Tolhoek on the podium in the Japan Cup (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the way to his win on stage 6 of the 2018 Tour of Utah

Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the way to his win on stage 6 of the 2018 Tour of Utah (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Antwan Tolhoek on the attack

Antwan Tolhoek on the attack (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Dutch WorldTour team Jumbo-Visma have signed three of their up-and-coming riders to two-year extensions, taking Sepp Kuss, Antwan Tolhoek and Koen Bouwman through the 2021 season.

All three riders are currently at the Giro d'Italia, where they've already ridden four stages on the front of the peloton defending team leader Primoz Roglic's general classification lead.

"It's really special that we already have that responsibility. It's exciting," said Kuss, the 24-year-old American who got a last-minute call-up for the Giro after Robert Gesink was injured in a crash.

Tolhoek, 25, said the opportunity made him reflect on what he's accomplished so far with the team.

"It was a moment of pleasure," he said. "Of course, there are moments of danger. Like Sepp says, the responsibility is there. It's nice to see that we all take it and enjoy it."

The trio have been rewarded for their efforts so far with the mid-race announcement about their contract extensions. It's a nice boost of confidence and release of outside pressure as they focus on the difficult days ahead.

"In our team they developed from boys who came from youth or training teams into professionals," said Jumbo-Visma Managing Director Richard Plugge. "Now they are growing into sidekicks for one of the biggest contenders here in the Giro d'Italia. In this team, people work to make everyone better instead of just improving the leaders. They're showing amazing things. I think it's very cool that this has grown in our organisation."

Kuss, who came from the US Rally program before that team jumped to the Pro Continental level, has four UCI wins to his credit, including three stages and the overall at the 2018 Tour of Utah. He made his Grand Tour debut last year at the Vuelta a Espana, where he road to rave reviews in the mountains.

"They gave each one of us the confidence that we can make the steps to develop," Kuss said in a video released by the team. "It's a really fair team, and it makes sense to stay with that progression."

Bouwman won stage 3 at the Criterium du Dauphine last year and was part of the team's successful team time trial squads earlier this year at Volta a la Valenciana and the UAE Tour. He's ridden with the program since signing with the Dutch team as a stagiaire in 2015.

"I felt at home on this team," Bouwman said. "Since the first race I rode as a professional, I have been a part of this team. For me this feels like home."

Tolhoek agreed.

"That's why I think we all want to stay," the 25-year-old Dutchman said. "You can see that in the rest of the team. Everyone has been riding for along time here already for a good reason."

Tolhoek has yet to notch a pro win with Jumbo-Visma but was 11th overall last year at the Criterium du Dauphine and 10th at the Clasica San Sebastian.