Jumbo-Visma’s sporting director Merjin Zeeman believes that overhauling Tadej Pogacar is the toughest challenge in cycling for the top teams.
UAE Team Emirates’ rider Pogacar won the Tour de France as his closest almost universally fell away in the hectic early stages of the competition, with Jumbo-Visma’s fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic one of the casualties.
The 22-year-old won his second consecutive Tour but Roglic is aiming to win 2022’s event.
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Another Jumbo-Visma rider, Jonas Vingegaard, took second at this year’s event and Zeeman believes the Dane could be a contender for future tours.
“It’s too early to say what Jonas’ schedule is for next year but let it be clear that we already believed in him and that’s why we extended his contract and why we gave him the high potential programme in order to develop him as a leader,” he told Cycling News.
“He was the leader in Coppi e Bartai and he was the shadow leader in Pais Basque behind Roglič and now he continues to develop. For us he’s an important GC option now.”
Zeeman explained the plans for the team in the close season, after the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.
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“We evaluate after the season and we make plans together with the riders. It’s clear that Jonas will be one of the GC leaders for us in the coming years. We all know that the Tour de France starts in Denmark next year so we know what Grand Tour he’ll want to be in. We need to find a way of beating Pogačar and that’s the biggest challenge for the coming years," Zeeman explained.
"Primož is the big leader of our team. We saw in the Olympics what he can do so I’m 100 per cent sure that his ambition is to win yellow and there’s no doubt that he will want to fight for that in the coming years.”
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