Visma DS Zeeman on Vingegaard: "Jonas is the only rider in our team at this moment who can win the Tour de France"

Team Visma | Lease a Bike are going to the Tour de France with the plan of winning for the third time with Jonas Vingegaard. Despite the obstacles in his preparation, this is clear within the team, including the multi-talented leaders such as Matteo Jorgenson and Wout van Aert.

"Jonas is the only rider in our team at this moment who can win the Tour de France," Merijn Zeeman said in an interview with CyclingWeekly. "I really believe that Matteo Jorgenson will be a very very good rider in the future. I think Matteo has a chance to win the Tour in his career as well, but he is still developing." The team hence goes with a sole leader, in stark contrast with UAE Team Emirates that have Tadej Pogacar, Adam Yates, João Almeida and Juan Ayuso all as legitimate candidates for the final victory or podium.

In reality Visma would also theoretically have three cards; one being Sepp Kuss who won the Vuelta a España last year but was far from his best form at the Criterium du Dauphiné; and the other being Matteo Jorgenson who won Paris-Nice and Dwars door Vlaanderen in the spring, and recently raced to a brilliant second place at the Criterium du Dauphiné where he was close to dethroning Primoz Roglic. Jorgenson would be a podium contender if he kept this level throughout the whole Tour, but the team isn't putting that pressure on the young American.

"I think if we analyse the WorldTour season to date, Matteo is among the best riders in the world right now. It's a remarkable progression," Zeeman admits, but Visma's prime signing has never actually raced for a result in a Grand Tour. "He’s a really fantastic rider to have in the team and he’s incredible to work with, a real leader, and he really makes our team stronger. You never know what happens in the Tour. But Matteo is very clear that he is going to the tour to help Jonas. The intention is very clear that he wants to help the team and he will help the team by supporting Jonas as best as possible."

Zeeman also explains how Wout van Aert's plan to race the Tour de France came about, after the Dwars door Vlaanderen crash disrupted his spring plans completely. "Wout called me and he called Grischa to say that he was really motivated to go to the Tour to do something special for the team, with the team, and this means being with Jonas fighting for yellow."

"So like every other year, Wout is the best possible helper that Jonas can have. He really makes a difference as a rider, as a person, and as a leader. It would be fantastic if he could win a stage as well because a champion like him really deserves that," he says.

"I hope that we will really get some controversy again because it's good for the documentary at the end of the season so we need to create some of that. Or maybe we can solve it with Belgium and Denmark playing against each other in the European Championships and then it's also solved."

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