Jumbo-Visma will launch a women’s team starting in 2021 with either Annemiek van Vleuten or Marianne Vos set to sign as team leader, Dutch media reports.
The WorldTour squad are set to enter the women’s peloton at the request of their headline sponsors as well as incoming bike sponsor Cérvelo, according to Cycling Opinions, with plans for a women’s team having been discussed earlier in the year but momentarily derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Two world champions in Annemiek van Vleuten and Marianne Vos are said to be potential marquee signings for the squad, who are likely to apply for WorldTour status, with both riders out of contract at the end of the year with Mitchelton-Scott and CCC-Liv respectively.
Jumbo-Visma will acquire the services of Parkhotel Valkenburg team manager Esra Tromp to lead their women’s team, and are also said to be hiring the team’s coach Marieke van Wonroij, while Martin Vestby, currently working for the Mitchelton-Scott women’s outfit, is said to be taking over as lead sports director.
Parkhotel Valkenburg will continue as a team despite these key departures, with star riders Lorena Wiebes and Demi Vollering potentially also moving across, but as a development squad that will make the most of the links to the new Jumbo-Visma squad.
Jumbo-Visma are said to have intially looked at signing Anna van der Breggen and Chantal van den Broeck-Blaak until Boels-Dolmans’ future was secured by the arrival of their new sponsor SD Worx and the pair announced they would finish their riding careers with the team before taking on sports director roles.
Van Vleuten has already made a successful start to post-coronavirus racing in Spain, winning her first race back at Emakumeen Nafarroako followed by victory in the Clasica Navarra a day later.
Meanwhile, CCC-Liv pulled out of both Spanish races, with team management saying they were concerned about the risk of infection in the local areas, also raising concerns that riders and staff from other teams may not have undergone the mandatory Coronavirus tests.