Jumbo-Visma supervisor Richard Plugge has lifted the lid at the staff’s Vuelta a España staff management choice, pronouncing that selecting a winner from Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard, and Primož Roglič was once “like opting for between your individual kids”.
After a number of levels of letting the staff’s 3 leaders race among themselves, there was once readability on level 18 to Los angeles Cruz de Linares as Vingegaard and Roglič labored for purple jersey Kuss, who celebrated his first Grand Excursion victory in Madrid on Sunday night time.
Plugge, who has overseen a staff successful all 3 Grand Excursions in the similar season – a primary in biking historical past – informed Het Laatste Nieuws that there was once “no textbook resolution” to the placement Jumbo-Visma raced into.
“It was once an ideal scenario that we discovered ourselves in however on the identical time one who by no means took place earlier than and for which there was once no textbook resolution,” he mentioned.
“We had excellent discussions with all events concerned. We listened to everybody’s opinion, put the entirety at the desk, drew up a plan in accordance with that, and requested if everybody was once OK with it. As a staff, we had been true to our values and racing philosophy – successful in combination.
“[Picking one winner] is like opting for between your individual kids. We simply sought after to win the Vuelta. With whom it made no distinction,” he added, earlier than praising Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič for placing their very own purple jersey ambitions apart. “It is nice that two nice other people, in accordance with their private management, allowed him to do it.
“Despite the fact that Kuss has, in fact, earned it himself. Deserved is any other peculiar phrase – in height recreation, you do not ‘deserve’ the rest, you cross and get it your self.”
Plugge, who disregarded the rumours that Roglič – beneath contract to 2025 – may transfer groups this low season, mentioned that his staff cannot stand nonetheless, in spite of attaining a degree of domination by no means earlier than noticed within the recreation.
He warned that rival groups proceed to support and mentioned one of the vital few goals that the staff did not arrange to reach in 2023.
“The contest does not keep nonetheless,” Plugge mentioned. “Bahrain Victorious had a robust experience right here. Lidl-Trek are strengthening. Ineos Grenadiers shall be again. UAE Group Emirates are doing neatly. Soudal-QuickStep also are heading in the right direction. We need to keep sharp.
“[Jumbo-Visma DS] Merijn Zeeman and I are comparing what we will be able to be informed from this Vuelta to do even higher subsequent 12 months. We owe it to ourselves to seem within the reflect as a result of earlier than you realize it you’re going to be overtaken.
“Our most effective function that we did not do so 12 months was once successful the Excursion of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix,” he added. “There is nonetheless so much to be completed. It is a really nice ‘crown’ on a decade of arduous paintings, however I am not going to sit down again now. Now we have drawn up a big plan in opposition to 2030. There is room for much more crowns.”
Plugge additionally took time to speak about Remco Evenepoel, the protecting champion and on the halfway level of this 12 months’s race the primary rival for Jumbo-Visma’s triumvirate. The Belgian suffered a cave in on level 13 to the Col du Tourmalet, getting rid of the one actual barrier to a Jumbo-Visma total victory.
He’d cross on to assert the mountain classification along with 3 level wins, whilst Plugge mentioned he’d love to speak to Evenepoel to determine what took place at the Tourmalet, whilst additionally opining that – despite his 2022 Vuelta win – he hasn’t but overwhelmed top-level pageant in a Grand Excursion.
“In Barcelona, I took Ayuso, Almeida, Mas, Thomas, and Arensman into consideration. And Evenepoel, in fact. The truth that he cracked at the Tourmalet simplified issues,” he mentioned.
“I would like to paintings with him and discuss that. Then we could possibly formulate a solution. However I would possibly not discuss that now.
“Evenepoel is without doubt one of the large stars of biking and no doubt the most productive one-day racer round. However we do not but understand how he will do in a Grand Excursion with tricky pageant. Closing 12 months he received the Vuelta however Roglič dropped out.
“He will additionally need to turn out it towards the Vinegegaards and Pogačars of this global. I sincerely hope he can proceed to construct in this basis, regardless that a three-week Grand Excursion is one thing very distinctive. Historical past has proven this again and again.”