VN Podcast: Richard Plugge beat COVID-19; Ellen van Dijk targets Roubaix

Richard Plugge of Jumbo-Visma recounts his battle with COVID-19, and then explains why he supports the UCI's racing calendar. Ellen van Dijk discusses the importance of Paris-Roubaix.

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Richard Plugge, the managing director for Jumbo-Visma, has a very informed perspective on the coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on pro cycling.

Back in March Plugge came down with a fever and a cough, and after more than a week of feeling ill he was hospitalized. Plugge was diagnosed with COVID-19, and he spent more than six weeks recovering from the illness.

On today’s episode of The VeloNews Podcast we link up with Plugge to hear the story of his experience with COVID-19 and what he learned from battling the illness.

We also discuss the UCI’s proposed calendar for bringing racing back this fall, and get Plugge’s opinion on the plan. While other team directors have criticized the UCI’s schedule as being too ambitious, Plugge believes it is a plan that works for pro cycling and provides a lifeline for the teams that are teetering on the edge of financial ruin.

Next, we discuss the ladies Paris-Roubaix with one of the peloton’s best riders on the cobblestones: Ellen van Dijk. Van Dijk is a winner of the Tour of Flanders and a 2x champion at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. She explains why the launch of Paris-Roubaix for women has completely changed her focus on the 2020 season.

All that and more on this week’s episode of The VeloNews Podcast.

This week’s episode is sponsored by Roll Massif, organizer of eight iconic cycling events in Colorado. Right now listeners of the podcast can get 15 percent off event entry by clicking here and using the code Velonews15 at checkout.