This is the page about Visma | Lease a Bike. Together with DSM Firmenich-PostNL, it is the only Dutch team active in the UCI World Tour. Many Dutch cyclists, therefore, ride for Richard Plugge's team. IDLProCycling.com collects all the news about Visma | Lease a Bike.
Like almost every cycling team, Jumbo-Visma has a past with various different forms. The history of the team dates back to 1996, when it made its debut in the professional peloton under the name Rabobank. As part of the 'Rabobank Cycling Plan,' the arrival of the team sponsored by the well-known bank was supposed to provide a boost in Dutch cycling. Not only was a cycling team established, but there was also investment in youth to promote the advancement of Dutch talents.
This resulted in the Netherlands gaining numerous new, talented cyclists during the sixteen years of the Rabo team. Think of riders such as Robert Gesink, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin and earlier riders like Pieter Weening and Thomas Dekker. In addition to the constant stream of talents, of course, significant successes were achieved. For example, Rabobank won day successes in the major tours with riders like Michael Boogerd, Léon van Bon, and Oscar Freire, while Denis Menchov even won the 2009 Giro d'Italia.
However, all good things come to an end, and so did the Rabo team. At the end of 2012, when it became known that doping was practically commonplace in the first decade of the 21st century, sponsor Rabobank decided to withdraw its support from the team from 2013. Riders who rode for the Dutch team during the doping era also frequently admitted to doping use.
To prevent the team from collapsing, Rabobank still sponsored the now nameless team for the 2013 season. The team continued with the same riders, but members involved in past doping schandals were let go. In June 2013, a definitive new sponsor was found: Belkin, an American producer of hardware among other things. The team colors changed to black and green, but the Dutch identity was retained. As Belkin, with Bauke Mollema and Laurens ten Dam, a few good classifications were achieved in the major tours, but after a year and a half of sponsorship, the Americans decided not to continue with the team.
For 2015, the former Belkin team partnered with the Dutch Lotto and Jumbo. The plan was to start a similar trajectory as was done in 1996 with Rabobank to cultivate a steady stream of Dutch cycling talent. The Dutch character remained, but the team also looked beyond national borders to pick up great cycling talent. Thus, Jumbo-Visma, as the team was known as of 2020 after the Norwegian Visma replaced Lotto as the sponsor, is one of the best-staffed cycling teams in the peloton. With Laurens De Plus, Wout van Aert, Dylan Groenewegen, Tom Dumoulin, George Bennett, and Primoz Roglic, the team had riders in its ranks who are among the best in their categories. For example, Roglic won the 2020 Vuelta a España, while Groenewegen has several stage victories in the Tour de France to his name.
The rapid development of Team Jumbo-Visma led to ambitions targeting the biggest race of the year in 2020. Jumbo-Visma expressed during the winter its desire to win the Tour de France with Roglic, Dumoulin, or Kruijswijk. For this purpose, an impressive team was assembled, dedicated to supporting these three leaders. However, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted plans, and the Tour was postponed to later in the year. The ambitions, though, remained unchanged.
Jumbo-Visma proved its top team status by dominating the Tour de France. It controlled the race for three weeks, but on the penultimate day, in the time trial, they were upstaged by an incredible Tadej Pogacar. The Slovenian overtook Primoz Roglic for the yellow jersey and won the Tour. It was a significant blow for Jumbo-Visma, which nevertheless had an outstanding year. Wout van Aert won Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, and Roglic triumphed in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Vuelta a España, just as in 2019.
For 2021, Jumbo-Visma again set its sights on winning the Tour, but without Dumoulin, who decided to take a sabbatical at the start of the year. The Dutchman later made a strong comeback with a silver medal in the Olympic time trial. For Jumbo-Visma, however, the Tour de France was the holy grail. Again, the team was thwarted by a too-strong Pogacar, compounded by leader Roglic dropping out mid-race due to a crash. Roglic, as in 2019 and 2020, returned for revenge in the Vuelta, achieving his third consecutive overall victory in the Tour of Spain.
For 2022, Jumbo-Visma built what appeared to be an almost invincible machine, at least on paper. Roglic maintained his strong core, and the Dutch team made significant purchases, especially for the classics team around Van Aert. He proved once more in 2021 to be the team's major star, along with Roglic. He thus deserved a strong team to support his ambitions in 2022: winning a Monument and the green jersey in the Tour.
In the spring, Van Aert won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Gent-Wevelgem. However, he was struck down by coronavirus just days before the Tour of Flanders, forcing him to miss that race. Additionally, Primoz Roglic was very successful in Paris-Nice, while Tom Dumoulin worked towards his major goal: the Giro d'Italia. The Dutchman never managed to compete for the prizes and left the race disillusioned on day fourteen. These would be one of his last efforts as a professional cyclist, as he officially ended his career in August.
While Dumoulin didn't feel at home in the Giro, a significant part of the Dutch team was already focused on the main goal of the year: the Tour de France. Weeks and months of preparation went into the Tour, which started with two leaders. In a cunning first week, rival Tadej Pogacar already made some moves, while Roglic fell hard and thus couldn't compete for the prizes. However, Wout van Aert made a very strong impression in those first days of the Tour, taking an early lead for the green jersey.
Despite his injuries, Roglic did help ensure that Pogacar broke in the queen stage of the Tour on day eleven. In the stage to Col du Granon, the yellow-black formation put Pogacar under pressure from afar, causing him to ultimately concede to Vingegaard on the final climb. Thanks to excellent work from Van Aert, the Dane was never under pressure, thus fulfilling Jumbo-Visma's dream: winning the Tour became a reality, along with the green jersey (Van Aert) and polka dot jersey (Vingegaard), as well as six stage victories.
In the fall, the leaders Roglic (Vuelta), Van Aert (World Championships), and Vingegaard (Tour of Lombardy) each chose a different main goal, none of which became a reality. Roglic had to withdraw from the Vuelta while in second place after a clash with Fred Wright, Van Aert saw compatriot Evenepoel win the World Championships, and Vingegaard had to drop out in Lombardy. Meanwhile, thoughts were already on 2023: though the team saw the departure of Dumoulin, Dutch champion Pascal Eenkhoorn, and key player Mike Teunissen, they were replaced by Wilco Kelderman and Dylan van Baarle.
This reshuffling proved very beneficial for the team. In the spring, they kicked off with victories in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Saxo Classic, Gent-Wevelgem, but ultimately failed to achieve their main spring goal: winning the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix. Despite this, they could look back on a very successful series in the classics.
Even more impressive was the sweep they achieved in the grand tours. Primoz Roglic, as the leader, went to the Giro and ousted Geraint Thomas from the leader's jersey with an impressive time trial on the penultimate day, followed by dominating the Tour de France again with Jonas Vingegaard's victory. They also added overall victories in the Tour of the Basque Country, Critérium du Dauphiné (Vingegaard), Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour of Catalonia (Roglic).
Then, the team took both Vingegaard and Roglic to the Vuelta, where third man Kuss quickly took the leader's jersey through a cunning early break. The American held stronger than expected, while the formidable Jumbo-Visma team meanwhile could eliminate all competitors one by one. Eventually, Vingegaard and Roglic settled into their roles, and the team finished 1-2-3 in the Vuelta.
In the fall, it became clear that Jumbo would withdraw as the sponsor of the team, leading to various sponsorship stories circulating. Eventually, Pon with Lease a Bike stepped in, and the team will continue in 2024 as Visma | Lease a Bike, without Roglic. He moved to BORA-hansgrohe, which in turn lost Cian Uijtdebroeks after disputes to the Dutch team.