Jumbo-Visma bookended a near-perfect season in professional cycling with the final stage win and overall victory at the Tour of Guangxi on Tuesday.
This final success took their win total to 69 for the year, the most of any team in the peloton. They also completed their historic Grand Tour triple, with victories at the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España with three different riders and three riders filling the Vuelta a podium.
Sporting director Merijn Zeeman was elated after Olav Kooij took the final stage with Milan Vader crossing the line behind him for overall victory in China, looking back on an ‘unprecedented season.’
“If you add Christophe Laporte’s victory at the European Championships, we have 70 [wins],” Zeeman said.
“This is by far the best season this team has ever had. We have made cycling history by winning three Grand Tours in one year. And now, after the week in China, we have reached 70 victories.”
“There are no words to describe it. It is an unprecedented season, really fantastic. We are always a modest and humble team, but this is definitely something to reflect on. We are very proud of it.”
The Dutch team will have a new name and new look for next year as Visma-Lease a Bike. They opted against the much discussed merger/takeover of Soudal-QuickStep but can look back on a dominant 2023 season as the finest in their history.
They have lost Primož Roglič who heads to Bora-Hansgrohe but in 2024 can again count on two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and his super-domestique Sepp Kuss, who took a surprise win at this year’s Vuelta.
They will be looking to defend the Dane’s Tour de France victory in 2024 against the likes of Roglič and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep).
Jumbo-Visma’ goals for 2023 included ten wins for Kooij, winning a monument and topping the UCI team ranking. The young sprinter achieved his goal, winning 13 sprints but UAE Team Emirates topped the ranking and Wout Van Aert, Laporte and Dylan van Baarle were unable to win a Monument.
They took two in 2020 with Wout Van Aert winning Milan-Sanremo and Roglič snatching Liège-Bastogne-Liège from a small group sprint, but haven’t claimed any of the five major one-day races for three years.
Van Aert has finished in the top ten in each of his last ten Monument appearances, with six of those being podium finishes, but all were behind the likes of big rival Mathieu van der Poel, Tadej Pogačar and Remco Evenepoel.