Jumbo-Visma have confirmed Steven Kruijswijk will lead their team at the 2020 Vuelta a España.
With eight months to go until the next edition of the Spanish Grand Tour, the Dutch outfit are already setting out plans to keep their top riders happy during the 2020 season, as Tom Dumoulin’s arrival increases the competition for leadership roles between the elite racers within the squad.
Kruijswijk, who finished third at the 2019 Tour de France, will have been looking for further Grand Tour opportunities next year but another chance to win the Tour was always going to be a big ask due to Dumoulin signing from Sunweb as well as Primož Roglič seeking new challenges after winning the 2019 Vuelta.
A bonus for Kruijswijk is that the 2020 Vuelta starts outside of Spain for just the fourth time in the race’s history, beginning in the 32-year-old’s native Netherlands in Utrecht where the Grand Depart of the 2015 Tour de France was also hosted.
“I see it as a great opportunity to try and get on the podium in the Vuelta,” Kruijswijk said. “Every Grand Tour that starts in the Netherlands has something extra for us as a Dutch team. For me, two stages really stand out.
“The stage with the finish on the Tourmalet and on the Angliru. Those are climbs that I know both. Those stages suit me and are meant for me. These are often the unique stages that are pivotal in a Grand Tour to do something.”
Kruijswijk knows the Tourmalet from his third place finish on the Pyrenean mountain at the 2019 Tour, with stage 14 being won by Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
The Dutch squad made the announcement after the full route for the 2020 Spanish Grand Tour was unveiled in Madrid, with two time trials and short mountain stages set to define next year’s edition.
As well as the Tourmalet, another highlight is a summit finish on the dreaded Angliru climb on stage 15.
In addition to the start in Utrecht, the race also features stages outside of Spain in France and Portugal.