Jonas Vingegaard has been chosen to take the place vacated by Tom Dumoulin in Jumbo-Visma's 2021 Tour de France squad.
The young Dane has impressed this early season, winning a stage of the UAE Tour, the overall and two stages at Settimana Coppi e Bartali, as well as riding to second on GC at the Tour of the Basque Country, with Jumbo-Visma saying "he is ready for a Tour debut".
The spot in the Dutch team's eight-man squad opened up after Tom Dumoulin decided earlier in the year to take a break from racing. The 30-year-old's name apparently being present on a recent Dutch cycling federation list for Covid-19 vaccination ahead of the Olympic Games did however stoke rumours of a comeback in time for the Tour.
He was spotted at the recent Amstel Gold Race, a VIP guest of the race organisers, and hanging around to watch the peloton pass by.
Jumbo-Visma will be hoping to go one better than last year at the Tour, with Primož Roglič once again aiming for the yellow jersey, having finished runner-up behind Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in 2020.
Five of that 2020 squad will return for 2021, Roglič accompanied by Wout van Aert, Tony Martin, Sepp Kuss and Robert Gesink once more.
Steven Kruijswijk is also on the list, having missed out last year due to injury, while former yellow jersey wearer Mike Teunissen rounds out the list of eight names.
"I am of course very happy with this," Vingegaard said of his inclusion. "It’s a dream coming true for me. I always watched the Tour on television, so it’s very nice to be awarded a place in the Tour selection.
"I am very happy with my development because I have made quite a big improvement indeed. Hopefully, I can get even better. By helping Primož and Steven I can take another step and learn a lot. The Tour is something different from the Vuelta, but it will certainly be a great experience again."
"We believe he will play a really important role in the Tour. His selection is a reward for his good results. In theory, Jonas can be a grand tour contender himself," added sports director Girscha Niermann. "He also has a good time trial. But he needs time for his development. In that regard, nothing is better than riding a grand tour with Steven and with Primoz and support them and also learn from them."
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