Vingegaard was supposed to ride Strade Bianche, but decided not to do it after all: "That's why Tirreno over Paris-Nice" Cycling

Vingegaard was supposed to ride Strade Bianche, but decided not to do it after all: "That's why Tirreno over Paris-Nice"

Vingegaard was supposed to ride Strade Bianche, but decided not to do it after all: "That's why Tirreno over Paris-Nice"

Thursday, Feb. 22, finally marks the first race for Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard. The 27-year-old Dane of Team Jumbo-Visma | Lease a Bike will tackle the Spanish stage race O Gran Camino before heading to Tirreno-Adriatico. Unfortunately, Strade Bianche has been removed from his schedule.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the race in Spain last year. Back then, at the start of my season, I immediately secured three stage wins and the overall classification. It's always gratifying to return as the defending champion. The goal for this year is clear; we aim to defend my title," says a determined Vingegaard on the Team Jumbo-Visma | Lease a Bike website "The past few months have been focused on training camps, which have gone very well. In Tenerife, we put the finishing touches before the start of the season. After a successful time in Spain, I'm eager to get back into racing."

In an interview with Het Nieuwsblad, Vingegaard mentioned his initial plan to participate in Strade Bianche after his season opener. However, that plan was scrapped. "The reason I chose Tirreno over Paris-Nice is because I was initially scheduled to compete in Strade Bianche as well. However, we canceled that race because it would mean I'd only be home for one day in two months. That would be a bit much, or rather, too little time with my family," he chuckles.

In the previous edition, Vingegaard '"really enjoyed it", but he does opt for a name change

"Once again, we made a very deliberate choice in selecting this race," team manager Robert Wagner emphasized on the team website. "In making this decision, we kept the bigger picture in mind. Following the race in Spain, we have Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country, two World Tour races scheduled for Jonas in the spring. Camiño serves as ideal preparation to log the necessary hard miles after a period of training at altitude. Moreover, the stage race suited us very well last year. The organization is excellent, the stages are challenging, and there's a time trial again. Particularly, the time trial holds significant importance in the context of the rest of the season. Thus, this year's Tour de France concludes with a time trial to Nice."

Vingegaard echoes this sentiment: "The Tour remains the primary goal. We'll leave no stone unturned to ensure I'm in peak condition for it. So far, my winter preparation has been flawless, with no setbacks. I've just completed a two-week training stint on Teide, and I'm where I want to be in terms of fitness. I'm eagerly anticipating my first race." He will embark on this journey with a new second surname, as reported on the UCI site. Vingegaard has dropped his previous second surname and adopted his wife's name. Consequently, his name is now Jonas Vingegaard Hansen, in honor of his wife, Trine Marie Hansen.

Read more below the tweet.

Uijtdebroeks and Tulett make their debut, while Huising and Graat also get to taste the real deal

Also making their debut this season are newcomers Cian Uijdebroeks and Ben Tulett. "Both riders are enjoying their time with the team. They have been well taken care of and already feel at home. They are eager to log their first race kilometers for our team," Wagner says. Tijmen Graat and Menno Huising, who will not transition from the training team to the professional team of Visma | Lease a Bike until 2025, are also getting a taste of real competition. "It's a deliberate decision to expose young riders to this level of racing. It aligns perfectly with the organization's philosophy."

"This entails not only competing in the U23 category but also at a higher level. The competition will be tougher, especially here in Camiño with several World Tour teams participating. Menno and Tijmen have already trained with the senior riders in January. What's particularly encouraging is their curiosity and their willingness to learn; they ask questions to Jonas and other experienced riders. They are eager to improve themselves, which is why the team is giving them the opportunity to compete here."

Selection Visma | Lease a Bike O Gran Camino 2024

Jonas Vingegaard
Wilco Kelderman
Johannes Staune-Mittet
Cian Uijtdebroeks
Ben Tulett
Menno Huising
Tijmen Graat

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