Tom Dumoulin and Robert Gesink played an important role in the victory of Wout van Aert in the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Wednesday, already the sixth victory of Jumbo-Visma this month. The two Dutchmen fully enjoy the power of their team in the first races after the corona break.
It doesn’t happen often that Dumoulin has to search for words, but at the bottom of a hill in Saint-Christo-en-Jarez, the steep hill on which Van Aert had booked his third big victory in thirteen days, about ten minutes earlier, it almost says as much surprise as joy on the face of the 29-year-old from Limburg.
“I have never experienced this before, that I ride in a team that races so dominantly”, Dumoulin, who switched to Jumbo-Visma last winter, said with a big smile. “It feels strange, special, fun, special. And above all, very beautiful.”
In the difficult opening stage of the Dauphiné, the last preparatory race for the Tour de France for almost all top riders, Jumbo-Visma took the initiative in the Tour de l’Ain just like last week. Tony Martin controlled the gap with the leading group, Gesink kept the pace scorchingly high in the final, Primoz Roglic brought Rigoberto Urán back, Dumoulin neutralized an attack by Pierre Latour and Tiesj Benoot in the last 2 kilometers and Van Aert made it just like in Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo expertly finished.
“We are just here with a super team that came out of the training camp very well”, Dumoulin said. “Morality is also good, everything is going well. I couldn’t wish for more.”
Just under three weeks before the Tour, Jumbo-Visma seems to be the best team in the peloton. “We are doing our best and are having fun,” says Gesink with a knowing smile. “Whether that is a yes to the question of whether we are the best team in the world? Maybe. We should of course try to hold on to this towards the Tour and not overturn ourselves. But I really have the feeling that it is good. starts spinning. ”
Wout van Aert beat Daryl Impey and Egan Bernal in Saint-Christo-en-Jarez. (Photo: ASO / Alex Broadway)
‘Van Aert water carrier with best form of peloton’
Illustrative of the luxury position in which Jumbo-Visma finds itself is that Van Aert may well have had his last chance at a victory on Wednesday until the end of the Tour on 20 September.
In the last four days of the Dauphiné, in which four tough mountain stages are on the program, and in the Tour, the 25-year-old Belgian will in principle fully focus on servants for leaders Dumoulin, Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk. “We are really going for the GC here and in the Tour, so we won’t be doing things like this for Wout anymore,” said Dumoulin.
“Wout will be the water carrier with the best shape in the peloton”, Gesink laughs. “Today it was actually immediately clear that we would ride for him, because this was such a great opportunity for him. If Wout has such legs, you just have to go for it as a team. And then tomorrow will be a great opportunity for him. much easier to ignore the other three. ”
The Dauphiné continues on Thursday with a 135 kilometers ride from Vienne to the top of the Col de Porte. The final climb is of the hors category, with a length of 17.5 kilometers and an average gradient of 6.2 percent.
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