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.”
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