Jumbo-Visma rides impressively, but Tour still lacks ‘great fight’

Ask in July if it worked out, said Merijn Zeeman at the end of last year when Jumbo-Visma unfolded the plans for the Tour de France. July has become September, but apart from that, the plan of the Dutch team in the Tour de France has been very successful for the time being.

It‘s true that Steven Kruijswijk had to let the Tour pass him by, but the yellow jersey is pretty tight around the shoulders of Primoz Roglic on the second rest day. His lead over Tadej Pogacar may not be particularly big with 40 seconds, but given the dominance of the Jumbo-Visma collective in almost all previous stages, the leader can feel pretty safe

Perfect execution

I haven’t seen a weak spot yet, says former rider and analyst Michael Boogerd, who, like co-commentator Stef Clement, is impressed by the way the formation is racing. It is a perfect implementation of the five-year plan (the plan with which Jumbo-Visma wants to train the talents to become leaders, ed.), which is very clever

The Jumbo riders are constantly at the head of the peloton. Isn‘t it the experienced Robert Gesink or the talent Sepp Kuss, or all-rounder Wout van Aert who puts the competition on the rack. There isn’t a weak link in the team, everyone was crooked in the wheel, says Boogerd.

Jumbo drove fantastically well, but they did lose four seconds, Clement refers to the sprint with which Pogacar took the stage win for Roglic. As long as Pogacar takes seconds off little by little, it remains exciting

And the last climbing time trial was won by Pogacar, at the Slovenian championship. That time trial was a lot shorter, but Roglic won’t like it

Tour is a waste race

As impressive as riding Jumbo-Visma is, a Tour full of heroism is not yet there, according to Clement. It’s a waste race, we haven’t seen a real race

Many of the riders who were counted among the favourites for the final victory fell off one by one. Either you‘re not doing well, or you’re falling, or you‘re being stalked by fans. We haven’t seen a great fight uphill

The race image of the past days, with Roglic’s servants at the head of the peloton, will not change. Pogacar and Roglic are condemned to each other. Jumbo is in the lead and wants to unload as many riders as possible, Pogacar can‘t do more than follow and try to catch seconds

You also saw that on Sunday afternoon, Clement continues. If Roglic could go any faster, he would have been demarched. But he can’t go any faster than Tom Dumoulin. And Pogacar doesn‘t really get away.

Click here for the summary of Sunday’s stage:

It may not be the most spectacular Tour in history, but Boogerd is looking forward to the way Jumbo-Visma has been riding since the resumption of the cycling season. All riders have the level they should have. No other team has come out of the corona break so strong. Ineos is not well enough prepared across the board

Key stage is Wednesday

After the rest day, the peloton moves into the Alps. Boogerd is looking forward to two days in particular. Wednesday‘s stage is a key stage, just like Saturday’s time trial

Take a look at the profiles of the remaining stages below: