Jumbo-Visma's Plugge: "Suddenly we have Primoz Roglic as an opponent, which means we will have to go to the Tour differently and better"

Jumbo-Visma have arguably had an excellent 2023 and it is very hard for it to be any better in 2024. The Dutch team don't necessarily have that pressure when it comes to Grand Tours but it wants to improve elsewhere and the monuments are somewhere where that can happen as they did not win any this year.

“A lot went right last season, but a few things didn't go well. We ask ourselves: what can we do better than last year? The question is how we can have just as successful a year in 2024 as in 2023, with perhaps one or two fewer Grand Tours won," team manager Richard Pluge told Het Laatste Nieuws. A monument victory was missing, and Wout van Aert's late puncture at Paris-Roubaix was a main point: “We look at what went wrong there. Wout van Aert suffered a puncture at the Carrefour de l'Arbre. We do not see a puncture as bad luck. We just have to make sure it can't happen. If Wout doesn't have a puncture, he will probably win Paris-Roubaix. Getting a puncture is not bad luck.”

Arguably, the Belgian put out a tremendous season once again, but was often overshadowed by the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogacar who soared to higher heights in the days where it mattered the most. Van Aert ends the year with an enviable set of results but few high level wins to show for. Roubaix remains a big goal and a race very well suited to his abilities and the team focuses on how to prevent the same situation from repeating itself next year.

“What we have already gotten out of it is that we have to pay even more attention to materials to prevent us from having a puncture or running into problems in terms of materials," Plugge continues. "It's very easy to say: we're unlucky, that's it. But that's not how we are wired. We look at where we have influence and we look at how we can prevent that. That does not mean that we will prevent it, but we do want to exclude it as much as possible.”

The team is also aware that a difficult year may follow as other teams will want to replicate Jumbo's formula and they will have to adapt to that, including a strong BORA - hansgrohe team that now has Primoz Roglic who was signed from the Dutch team itself.

“That applies to everyone, including Wout. The disadvantage that we have won so much this year is that people copy us. Jonas Vingegaard also has to see how he and the team can do better in the Tour next year. Because Pogacar will arm himself differently. And suddenly we have Primoz Roglic as an opponent, which means we will have to go to the Tour differently and better.”

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