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Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard riding GP Denain as Tour de France ‘dress rehearsal’

Jumbo-Visma's Tour de France hopefuls looking to get a taste of the pavé ahead of a cobbled stage this summer.

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Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard will start Thursday’s GP Denain as a “dress rehearsal” for the Tour de France in July.

The one-day race doesn’t often see GC men in its peloton with Jasper Philipsen, Mathieu van der Poel, and Arnaud Démare on its list of former winners.

However, with a cobbled stage planned for the Tour de France this summer, Jumbo-Visma has taken the opportunity to send Roglič and Vingegaard to France this spring to get a taste of what’s to come. The team will also take David Dekker, Mick van Dijke, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Timo Roosen, and Lennard Hofstede.

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There will be no Wout van Aert, who helped Roglič win at Paris-Nice last week, as he is getting ready for an attempt to take his second Milan-San Remo victory at the weekend.

“We don’t start here with the ambition to win,” sport director Grischa Niermann said. “We do want to ride a good race and especially learn a lot from it. That’s why we chose this race as a kind of dress rehearsal for the Tour de France, and Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglič will be at the start together.

“The race can also offer great opportunities for other riders on our team. If it turns out to be a sprint, we have, for example, David Dekker who can show himself. The Grand Prix de Denain is Lennard Hofstede’s first race of the season, and he is eager to ride. It would be nice if we get a good result on Thursday, but we particularly want to see how we can support Jonas and Roglič well.”

While two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar is getting his run on the pavé at the Tour of Flanders next month, the GP Denain will give the Jumbo-Visma pairing a much less stressful lesson on the cobbles.

Ineos Grenadiers is also seconding a grand tour roster with Adam Yates, Daniel Martinez, and Omar Fraile also due to line-up at the one-day race Thursday. They will have to battle it out against experienced classics riders with the likes of Oliver Naesen and Niki Terpstra on the start line.

The GP de Denain is 200 kilometers long and takes in some of the cobbled sectors that frequent Paris-Roubaix, including Quérénaing a Maing, Verchain-Maugré, and Manchaux-sur-Ecaillon.

There are 12 pavé sectors along the route, all of which are in the second part of the race, totaling 20.8 kilometers.