In December, Jumbo-Visma took the rare decision to announce their Tour de France team, and while the world has irrevocably changed in the intervening months, the Dutch team remains resolute in its plans to send the same eight riders to cycling's marquee event in September.
Jumbo-Visma's eight chosen riders include a powerful three-pronged GC attack of Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk that seems capable of taking on Team Ineos. After the UCI announced their provisional plan to save the 2020 cycling season on Tuesday, Jumbo-Visma's directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman informed Cyclingnews that the team's plan was to send the same roster to the Tour.
"The goal of the Tour de France remains as it is. Normally, I don't see our Tour de France roster being any different," Zeeman told Cyclingnews.
Zeeman admitted that Jumbo-Visma may have to take into account how the team's riders come through their periods of lockdown, and that the team's management has a huge task on its hands when it comes to formatting line-ups for the UCI’s new condensed race calendar. However, Zeeman added that the ambition of winning the Tour de France with one of their three Grand Tour leaders remained the primary goal.
"We do need to see how the riders come through this period, though, and see if they're really ready to reach their highest level at the Tour. We don't have the races to prepare as normal, when you could see how the riders are racing, but I'm confident that they'll be riding well," he explained.
"Nothing is finalised yet but the big goal of the year was to go to the Tour and try to win it, and that remains the same. I hope that the plans they have are going to happen. Considering all the circumstances, I'll be very grateful if we can just race and do all these beautiful races. For me, that's the most important thing."
Tom Dumoulin has voiced his concern about the lack of altitude training camps as part of his preparation if he was unable to travel from his home in Belgium. The former Giro d'Italia winner told Cyclingnews in April that without such training methods, he would be unable to compete for the overall win at a three-week race.
Dumoulin has not raced since last June's Critérium du Dauphiné, and changed teams over the winter. His arrival at Jumbo-Visma was signalled as the missing piece in the jigsaw as the Dutch team squad looked to end Team Ineos' Tour de France domination.
While Dumoulin's comments over altitude camps were seen as an admission of problems riders will face after lockdown in Europe ends, Zeeman took a slightly more positive position.
"My opinion is that we need to take things as they come. If it's not possible to travel then it can mean something different for the shape of each rider. It is what it is but the most important thing is that we can race. Maybe we can do a smaller camp before the Tour, maybe we can do some individual ones. Maybe we can't do any camps, and if that's the case, then we just have to accept that. It's the governments that make the rules," he pointed out.
Jumbo-Visma's provisional line-up for the 2020 Tour de France: Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk, Tony Martin, Wout van Aert, Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink, Laurens De Plus