The best team of the moment, the best team in the world. Jumbo-Visma had a brilliant year, and we are more than happy to reflect on it in our series, where we evaluate the WorldTour teams one by one. Can you recall all the highlights of Jumbo-Visma?
One-day races 2023: Jumbo-Visma
The Dutch team's spring season had an excellent start. Piece by piece, the killer bees came flying when the main one-day races were on the schedule. The Flemish opener, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, was conquered by Dylan van Baarle, after an impressive race by the entire team. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne was claimed a day later by Tiesj Benoot.
After Wout van Aert was defeated by Mathieu van der Poel in Milan-Sanremo, the Belgian struck back hard in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. He won in a direct duel against Van der Poel and Tadej Pogacar. On Sunday, Jumbo-Visma's dominance reached its peak, with Van Aert and Christophe Laporte distancing everyone in Gent-Wevelgem. Laporte was allowed to win, although Van Aert faced widespread criticism for that.
Read more below the photo.
After Laporte also secured victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen, Jumbo-Visma set its sights on the ultimate spring goals: the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Winning a Monument in the spring was the team's major objective, but it didn't materialize. Van Aert fell short in the Tour of Flanders on a day when Laporte struggled throughout due to equipment failure. A fourth-place finish was a bitter outcome, especially considering that Pogacar and Van der Poel were battling for the win at the front.
A week later in Paris-Roubaix, it seemed destined to happen. Van Aert was in the mix, displayed extraordinary form, and encountered no issues until the last cobbled stretch... The moment Van Aert seized the advantage amid chaos, he suffered a puncture. Despite this setback, the leader still managed to secure a third-place finish, but that wasn't the outcome he aimed for.
In the remainder of the year, Jumbo-Visma's primary objectives were not centered around one-day races, but that didn't mean there were no victories. Olav Kooij triumphed in the Heistse Pijl, and the team secured three national jerseys with Van Baarle, Attila Valter, and Van Aert. In the fall, Primoz Roglic claimed victory in the Giro dell'Emilia, Van Aert triumphed again in the Coppa Bernocchi, and emerging talent Per Strand Hagenes surprised everyone by winning the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro after the Profronde van Drenthe.
Read more below the video
(Grand) tours 2023: Jumbo-Visma
Missed that significant victory in the spring, but in the major tours, Jumbo-Visma left almost nothing for the competition. Wherever esteemed leaders Jonas Vingegaard and/or Primoz Roglic competed, success typically followed. In O Gran Camiño, the Tour of the Basque Country, and the Critérium du Dauphiné, Vingegaard convincingly emerged as the best, securing a total of eight (!) stage wins in those races. This all set the stage for the Tour de France, where, mirroring the previous year, Vingegaard and Jumbo-Visma devised the formula to challenge Pogacar. In the Vuelta a España, Vingegaard, participating in two grand tours in a single year for the first time, finished as the runner-up (inclusive of two stage wins) and may well have been the strongest rider...
Roglic displayed a similarly dominant performance. He claimed victory in the Tirreno-Adriatico (with three stage wins), the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (with two stage wins), and, sandwiched between two grand tours, the Vuelta a Burgos (with two stage wins). Consequently, he emerged victorious in all the one-week stage races he contested in 2023. However, the ultimate triumph in the Giro d'Italia was the crowning achievement. Despite facing considerable resistance from Geraint Thomas for an extended period, Roglic, with a masterful time trial on the penultimate day—complete with a chain mishap—secured the pink jersey. In the Vuelta, he aimed for another win but encountered team orders and settled for a "mere" third place.
Read more below the photo.
The third and most unexpectedly impressive figure in the round was Sepp Kuss. Similar to previous years, the American primarily served as a domestique, although he seized another opportunity for himself in the UAE Tour, finishing fifth. Subsequently, he played a crucial role in Roglic's triumph in the Giro d'Italia and supported Vingegaard during the Tour victory. Given his strong recovery, he earned a spot in the Vuelta, where he initially served both Roglic and Vingegaard. However, as he gained minutes from a breakaway in the first week, it became evident that overcoming him in the race for the red jersey would be no easy feat. While there was internal competition within the team for a while, Jumbo-Visma ultimately decided in favor of the order Kuss-Vingegaard-Roglic, aiming to secure victories in all three grand tours in a single year—an unprecedented feat for any team. Jumbo-Visma's ambitious goal was stealthily realized with resounding success.
Yet, the triumphs in the realm of stage races don't end there. Kooij secured stage wins in Paris-Nice, the Four Days of Dunkirk, the ZLM Tour (along with the overall win), the Tour of Britain, and the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. Van Aert contributed another stage win and claimed the overall victory in the Tour of Britain, while Laporte secured two stage victories in the Dauphiné. Not to be forgotten are the stage victories by Rohan Dennis in the Tour Down Under and Johannes Staune-Mittet in the Tour of the Czech Republic. This unparalleled display constitutes a flawless stage race campaign!
Read more below the video
Final figure 2023 Jumbo-Visma
A perfect ten? It might have been within reach, yet acknowledging Jumbo-Visma's unwavering pursuit of perfection, Merijn Zeeman and Richard Plugge would affirm that they always seek room for improvement. In 2023, the only slight blemish was the absence of a Monument, a feat Van Aert was expected to accomplish. The Roubaix race had its share of extenuating circumstances, prompting some IDLProCycling.com editors to advocate for a perfect 10. However, as others deducted a point, the consensus settled on a substantial 9.6.
Transfers 2023/2024: Jumbo-Visma
Recognizing that standing still is akin to moving backward, Jumbo-Visma has already set sights on diverse projects for 2024. The introduction of Classics specialist Hagenes, touring talent Staune-Mittet, and Dutchman Loe van Belle from their own training program signifies a forward-looking approach. Additionally, the acquisition of Matteo Jorgenson, hailing from Movistar, adds another rider of the caliber of Tiesj Benoot and Attila Valter to the roster. Ben Tulett's recruitment, following a notable transfer from INEOS Grenadiers, is a significant move. A surprising addition to the lineup is Bart Lemmen, transitioning from Human Powered Health.
In terms of departures, Jumbo-Visma bids farewell to a handful of star riders, with Roglic being the most prominent among them. The Slovenian, eager to pursue his own chances, particularly in the Tour, has chosen to move to BORA-hansgrohe. Departures also include Dennis, Jos van Emden, and Nathan Van Hooydonck. Unfortunately, Van Hooydonck's departure is a result of a forced exit following a heart attack. Timo Roosen and Gijs Leemreize are slated to join Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL in 2024.
Incoming: Per Strand Hagenes (Jumbo-Visma Development), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Bart Lemmen (Human Powered Health), Johannes Staune-Mittet (Jumbo-Visma Development), Ben Tulett (INEOS Grenadiers), Loe van Belle (Jumbo-Visma Development).
(Preliminary) outgoing: Rohan Dennis (quit), Tobias Foss (INEOS Grenadiers), Gijs Leemreize (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), Sam Oomen (Lidl-Trek), Primoz Roglic (BORA-hansgrohe), Timo Roosen (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), Jos van Emden (quit), Nathan Van Hooydonck (quit)
Ones to watch 2024: Jumbo-Visma
With Roglic's departure, Jumbo-Visma acknowledges that its dominance in the grand tours might not be as pronounced in 2024. Vingegaard emerges as the sole remaining contender, and there's speculation about Kuss potentially stepping up in the pecking order. However, the team doesn't appear to be overly reliant on this possibility. Instead, the Giro d'Italia has been earmarked as a race for the younger riders and Van Aert. Van Aert's Giro debut adds anticipation to the mix, raising hopes for breakthrough performances from riders like Tulett and Staune-Mittet.
The focus for the team is on consolidation and the gradual progression from this point forward. Questions linger about what Hagenes can bring to Jumbo-Visma's spring core, and whether Wilco Kelderman can make further strides in his own career. The developmental trajectory of Kooij is another intriguing storyline to follow. Significantly, the sprinter is set to participate in a major tour, marking Jumbo-Visma's first significant investment in a top sprinter since Dylan Groenewegen.
(Provisional) 2024 selection: Jumbo-Visma
- Edoardo Affini
- Tiesj Benoot
- Koen Bouwman
- Robert Gesink
- Thomas Gloag
- Per Strand Hagenes
- Michel Hessmann
- Lennard Hofstede
- Matteo Jorgenson
- Wilco Kelderman
- Olav Kooij
- Steven Kruijswijk
- Sepp Kuss
- Christophe Laporte
- Bart Lemmen
- Johannes Staune-Mittet
- Jan Tratnik
- Ben Tulett
- Milan Father
- Attila Valter
- Wout van Aert
- Dylan van Baarle
- Loe van Belle
- Tosh Van der Sande
- Mick van Dijke
- Tim van Dijke
- Jonas Vingegaard