As in 2020, Jumbo-Visma is fully committed to the final victory in the Tour de France. Not so much with three leaders, because Primoz Roglic is the distinct favourite. “With Primoz as the leader and with Dumoulin and Kruijswijk, we are going into a free role behind it in the hierarchy,” says sporting director Merijn Zeeman.
Whether the Dutch formation will use the same tactics as in 2020, where the yellow-black was frequently seen at the head of the peloton, but the final victory passed their noses is still the question. “We like to take on the challenge. It is clear that there is one top favourite for the Tour with Tadej Pogacar. But we‘re not going to accept that. In this case, the pressure will lie with him.”
With two long, flat time trials, the focus of the Tour is not just on the mountains. “We put a lot of time and energy into improving the time trials.”
“ I’ve never really been writing in the spring. I hope that this year will succeed”, says Dumoulin, who will ride for a ranking in the Tirreno and add Flemish classics to his calendar.
Dumoulin: Gold at Games
“ The Tour of Flanders, that makes me very happy. I‘ll hit the Amstel. Liège and Walloon Pijl over, I find that very sorry. I’m going to rest, train and maybe do a short altitude internship and then I‘m doing Romandie. From that match, the Tour and the Games will go.”
“ There is a very nice course in the Tour. It’s not gonna be like that every year. Finally, two time trials again. That‘s great for me personally, I’m definitely looking forward to that. The Games have a special place in my heart for me. I took silver there once in the time trial, it is a goal to get gold there once.”
Dumoulin sees an ideal trail in Tokyo. “Top course, especially for me. The time trial goes up and down all the time. Quite a bit of climbing, but also time trial moments. An ideal combination for me. The road trail is also super heavy. That race is already six days after the Tour, so the question is how to get out of the Tour. But if I‘m in good shape, I can get very far there.”
Under normal circumstances, Dylan Groenewegen would have raised his finger to ride the Tour de France. There are eight chances of sprint. But the Dutch formation allows Groenewegen, who is still a suspension until 7 May, to return carefully to the peloton. It was only in 2022 that he was again eligible for the big competitions.
On paper he could drive the Giro d’Italia, which starts on 8 May, but Groenewegen is not at the start of the race. “We talked about it a lot, thought about it,” says Merijn Zeeman. “It is a very radical process. (…) To say that when his suspension is over, he‘s back to the old one? That is not so.”
Rentree Groenewegen on 12 May
On May 12, Groenewegen will make its return in the peloton, in the Tour of Hungary. “The goal with Dylan is to make 2021 the year in which he can find himself completely again. We’re going to build up quietly. He‘s gonna start in small games. Also because we follow the recovery process with Fabio Jakobsen calmly. We’re hoping he can be back in competition soon. We want to give Dylan the chance to get used to finals, to the peloton, to hectic finals. And gradually he gets back into bigger races, such as the Binckbank Tour, the Cyclassics in Hamburg and the Tour of Guangxi.”