Jumbo-Visma are unlikely to repeat their historic triple of Grand Tour victories in 2024, with the Dutch team preparing to send a crop of young talents to the Giro d’Italia rather than target a second consecutive victory.
This season Jumbo-Visma became the first squad ever to take victories in all three Grand Tours in a single year, winning the Giro d’Italia with Primoz Roglic, the Tour de France with Jonas Vingegaard and the Vuelta a España with Sepp Kuss.
However, Roglic has left the team for Bora-Hansgrohe in 2024, Vingegaard is again focused on the Tour de France and Kuss is expercting to ride in France and then defend his Vuelta victory.
Senior sports director Merijn Zeeman has revealed to Dutch podcast Met Open Vizier, the Jumbo-Visma team will head to Italy with notably lowered ambitions next May. Wout Van Aert is reportedly going to ride the Corsa Rosa but the rest of the eight-rider roster will include the team’s best young talent.
“This year we divided [our goals] between Primoz and Jonas. As it stands now, we will send our younger talents to the Giro d’Italia to gain experience,” Zeeman told the podcast.
“It may be that a top ten [on GC] is a good result, but we are not going to win with those riders. That is not realistic.”
It was not clear which riders Zeeman was referring to by younger talents but the 2024 Jumbo-Visma roster includes Matteo Jorgenson, Ben Tulett, Johannes Staune-Mitter and Per Strand Hagenes and Thomas Gloag.
Zeeman also discussed the 2023 Giro d’Italia in the same interview, where Roglic faced Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) prior to the Belgian going down with COVID-19.
Zeeman revealed that the psychological battles between the two got underway much earlier than the race itself, and had in fact begun when Roglic and Evenepoel crossed paths during a lengthy spell of altitude training on Mount Teide in the Canary Islands.
‘It’s always a hassle when you run into other teams at training camps,” Zeeman said.
“You can be with two or three teams at the top of Teide. Evenepoel was also there for the Giro and then it was mental warfare. He tries to impress us, we try to impress him. Not a word was said to each other. The Giro had already started.”
Evenepoel could have joined Jumbo-Visma in 2024 if the much discussed merger/takeover between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal-QuickStep had happened. During the same time, Roglic was allowed to transfer to Bora-Hansgrohe, transforming from a team leader to a major Grand…