Following the conclusion of his debut season with Jumbo-Visma, Rohan Dennis has said that the Dutch team will be at the top of the sport for some time yet, with a large gap between them and the rest of the peloton.
Dennis moved to the team from Ineos Grenadiers last off-season, subsequently saying that Jumbo-Visma were technically far ahead of their rivals and that his old team had been “copying Jumbo with a lot of stuff”.
The Australian, who won the Australian and Commonwealth time trial titles this season, only reiterated this point in an interview with Rouleur (opens in new tab) recently.
“I don’t think anyone’s taking over from Jumbo for a while,” Dennis said. “It’s a huge gap, and it’s a team that’s pushing the limit, legally, of course, to get the best performance out of all the riders.
“Jumbo is a good team for me,” he added. “Everything is dialled to the point where if you’re not performing, it’s your fault, which is a nice thing to have. That adds extra pressure on the athlete, but that’s a responsibility that you have as a professional anyway.
“I’d rather be that way than you rock up to a race and your bikes are not built properly, and it breaks, or the equipment is secondhand, and you’re at a disadvantage.”
Dennis took on one Grand Tour in 2022, racing the Vuelta a España in support of Primož Roglič’s GC bid. He didn’t make Jumbo-Visma’s Tour de France squad, though admitted he wasn’t fully healthy and holds no ill will about the selection.
“Nothing is a guarantee, not one position is a guarantee,” he said. “This year with the Tour, I wasn’t up to scratch for health and whatnot. It’s like, okay, cool, you’re out, and Nathan took my spot, and he was flying, so there’s always someone.”
He went on to serve Roglič well at the Vuelta, racing as part of the squad that won the opening team time trial before the Slovenian crashed out of second place after 16 stages.
Eventual winner Remco Evenepoel was already 1:26 up overall by that point, and the Belgian went on to win by two minutes in Madrid. He showed few signs of weakness during the three weeks, but Dennis pointed out that there are some weak spots to potentially exploit in future.
“Technical downhills,” Dennis said. “You don’t want to exploit someone’s bad luck with that crash he had on the downhill [stage 12], but it was a crack. We’re not going to just let him win.
“It’s part of the sport to find a weakness and exploit it. Before that crash, he wasn’t showing too much weakness on the downhill,…