Wout van Aert is driving for Jumbo-Visma until 2024. The cycling team succeeded in extending the Belgian contract, which expired at the end of this year, by three seasons.
Team manager Richard Plugge is proud that the all-rounder stays on board longer. “Wout is one of the big names, one of the big stars of cycling. He‘s the current number three in the world. For us, it was important to keep it,” says Plugge.
“ There might also be other teams interested in Wout, but his intention was to sign up from the beginning. We helped him in his development and that’s why he wants to stay. Soon we knew that about each other. After that, the details took some time. I am very glad we were able to keep it.”
Also Merijn Zeeman can‘t stand his luck now it is clear that Van Aert – who can cross, time trial, climb and sprint – will race in yellow-black for the next four seasons. “This is great news for everyone in our team and for our sponsors. Wout has become a great seasoning in cycling, I would say a star. He’s someone who makes the sport more fun to watch.”
“ For us as coaches it is sporty great to be able to work with such a personality and rider. Our team has been continuously developing in recent years. This also applies to the team around Wout in the spring. I think last year‘s analysis was that the support was insufficient. We are developing with that. That will continue in the years to come. To get stronger in this area too and to give Wout the support he needs.”
Wout van Aert
Van Aert indicates that he feels in place with Jumbo-Visma. “I wanted it myself because I really got a lot better here. I think everyone has been able to see that I have taken huge steps forward as a rider in recent years. I was always in shape when I wanted it.”
The Belgian had interest, not to complain. “I don’t have to explain to you that there was more interest in me, but I personally never had conversations with another team. My goal was always to break my contract here. We‘ve become the best team in the world. It was best for me to stay. I’m glad it‘s round and relieved to be able to speak out on it.”
Jumbo-Visma started this week without Primoz Roglic at the training camp in Spain. The Slovenian leader of the team must remain at home for the time being. According to a spokesman for Jumbo-Visma, this is partly because Roglic has to do with “COVID measures or infections in its immediate vicinity”.
The Dutch team from the WorldTour is preparing in and around Alicante for the new season. Jumbo-Visma will stay in Spain until 29 January. In addition to Roglic, second in the Tour de France last year and winner of the Vuelta, a number of riders are missing. They may join later. “People are still dripping in, depending on everyone’s personal circumstances and regulations,” said the spokesman.
Jumbo-Visma will announce the programme and ambitions for 2021 on Friday. It is already known that Roglic starts March in Paris-Nice wants to start his season.