The Dutch team confirmed Friday that they will go to Tour, starting June 27 in Nice, with new signing Tom Dumoulin, Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic, and long-time grand tour contender Steven Kruijswijk.
“We have to go to the Tour with the strongest possible team,” said sports director Merijn Zeeman. “Then we’ll have a chance to win. We’re going to do everything we can to conquer the yellow. We are very happy, proud and motivated to do so.”
Jumbo-Visma had a stellar 2019 in the grand tours, with Slovenian Roglic taking the red jersey at the Vuelta and third place at the Giro d’Italia. Kruijswijk placed third at the Tour de France, behind Ineos teammates Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.
The team will follow a ‘let the road decide’ approach to leadership at the Tour, in a similar tactic to that used by Team Ineos. The British team has found success with taking more than one leader to the Tour de France and allowing whichever turns out strongest to take the reigns in the bid for overall victory.
“The goal is definitely to win the Tour”, Dumoulin said. “Full on, with three leaders! It was very nice to find out that all three of us are on the same page.”
“We want to win the Tour as a team,” said Kruijswijk. “You do that with the strongest riders possible. Look at who we can line up, with Tom, Primoz and myself as leaders.”
The leadership trio will be backed by a strong fleet of domestiques, with Wout van Aert, Tony Martin, Laurens De Plus, Robert Gesink, and rising American Sepp Kuss also on the start sheet for the Tour.
The team will not take star sprinter Dylan Groenewegen to France, and instead, save his energies for the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. The Dutch fastman has ridden the tour four times, but never started the Italian or Spanish races.
“There are a lot of chances in the opening stages of the Giro,” said Groenewegen. “We pretty quickly realized that I should ride the Giro. And the Vuelta, starting in the Netherlands. Four years ago I joined the team and then I said that I want to win in all the grand tours. It will be a very nice year to do that.”
The team will be led by George Bennett at the Giro, and Kruijswijk at the Vuelta, the team confirmed.