Laurens de Plus is happy with INEOS Grenadiers and found himself once again this season. After a three-year contract renewal he has plans in mind which involve the Grand Tours. Riding all three in a season is not out of the table.
INEOS over the past years has been swarmed in terms of the Grand Tours, mainly by Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates, but the Belgian believes the British team has ability to turn that around. “I understand the comments, of course, but in cycling many things can change quickly. I would never underestimate us. Of course we still have G (Geraint Thomas, ed.) and many emerging young talents," De Plus said in the Domestique podcast.
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“It can be relatively easy to get to the top as a team, but trying to stay there is much more difficult. The team won its first Grand Tour in 2012 and now, ten years later, here we are. I would like to come back to this in ten years to see if the teams that are successful now are the same.” He wishes to play a part in that as well. The mutual confidence between both is clear and De Plus has said in the past that he wanted to help the team win again in a three-week race. This was close to happening this May where he rode a strong Giro d'Italia and supported Geraint Thomas who went on to finish second.
He has the ability to ride for overall classifications, however besides helping, it is more likely that he will end up chasing stage wins if he is given freedom. “That idea is always in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, due to circumstances it was not possible in the Giro. Taking the final victory with the team is always the priority. But when the opportunity arises," he hints.
De Plus was forced to abandon the Vuelta a Espana earlier this summer, his plan was to race both Grand Tours in a season. A rider who can withstand stage-races quite well, he was asked if he'd like to participate in all three in one year. “The team asked if I would like to participate in all three Grand Tours, but I don't think that will happen," he responded. "In my dreams I would like to do that, because they are the most beautiful competitions on the calendar.”