Team Jumbo-Visma are setting high expectations for the new season, and have already revealed the majority of their squad for the Tour de France and their confirmed starting line-up for the Giro d'Italia.
The Dutch team has set ambitious goals and are looking to compete for victories at the Grand Tours and in the Monuments in 2022.
Speaking during the team's presentation to the media, team manager Richard Plugge expressed his eagerness at the coming cycling year, with sporting director Merijn Zeeman echoing the team's optimism.
Zeeman said during the presentation: “We want to compete for victory in the monuments. And with Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard we are going for the highest achievable in the Tour as well.
“In 2021 we had our best Tour ever, with four stage wins and second place in the general classification. We will do everything to be the best version of ourselves in July, but we know the competition is strong. Tadej Pogačar is the top favourite again and we are one of the challengers.”
The team already has six of their eight Tour de France riders confirmed, with their three leaders Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert supported so far by Steven Kruijswijk, Sepp Kuss and Rohan Dennis.
Roglič and Vingegaard are both aiming for the general classification, with the Slovenian looking to secure the yellow jersey after three consecutive Vuelta a España victories. Meanwhile, Vingegaard will hope to go one better in 2022, after finishing second last season behind Tadej Pogačar once Roglič had crashed out of the race.
Battling his fellow countryman Pogačar will prove tough for Roglič, but he has a quiet assuredness about him when discussing how he expects the Tour de France to pan out.
He said: “The race can go in different directions. We are now starting the preparations and this is how I get ready for the season. We will choose the best tactics with the team.”
Wout van Aert's main focus rests on securing the green jersey, but the Belgian still hopes to support the team as best he can throughout the Tour.
Van Aert stated: "The dream of the green jersey is alive, but I also hope to be part of the team if we can win the Tour.
“I want to be there. I've already been a part of it. It is a new challenge this year to do even better. I also proved that I can be a team player and achieve success. I will also try to combine that in 2022.”
Kruijswijk's third-place Tour finish in 2019 highlights his talent, but he will have to settle for a supporting role behind Roglič and Vingegaard, who are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Kuss is a mountain specialist, as displayed with his win on stage 15 to Andorra last year, while Dennis' abilities were emphasised as he helped then-Ineos Grenadiers teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart to Giro victory in 2020. The final two riders are currently unknown.
Elsewhere, the Giro d'Italia squad is already fully confirmed, with Tom Dumoulin and Tobias Foss leading the team. Dumoulin revealed last month he would return to a Grand Tour this season, and this latest development highlights his sights are set on the Italian race.
The Dutchman claims the decision to ride in Italy over France "wasn't that difficult", and he'll prepare for the Giro in May with the Amstel Gold Race as his only Ardennes Classics event.
The Dutch WorldTeam won't take any sprinters to Italy with their eight-man squad, which also includes, Edoardo Affini, Koen Bouwman, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Jos van Emden, Chris Harper and Sam Oomen.
The Vuelta a España is the only Grand Tour Jumbo-Visma left unaccounted for, stating selections would be made after the Tour de France. Roglič has the opportunity to defend his title in Spain, but he would have to once again battle compatriot Pogačar for that honour, who has already confirmed he will compete in the event.
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