Jumbo-Visma sports activities director Merijn Zeeman has made a powerful, if an oblique, indication that the workforce’s seek for a brand new sponsor to switch grocery store chain Jumbo could be over.
In a piece of writing with Nieuwsblad headlined: ‘Sports activities director has excellent information for Wout Van Aert and co.’ Zeeman first said, ‘It’s now positive that we will proceed to construct on this workforce within the coming years.’ after which repeated the interviewer’s query: ‘Am I announcing the workforce is confident?’ with the solution, ‘Sure, completely, even though I will be able to’t move into main points.’
Whilst in June it used to be reported that Jumbo will prevent sponsoring the workforce on the finish of 2024, within the interview Nieuwsblad equipped its personal statement that “The identify of the brand new sponsor may not be lengthy in coming.”
Whether or not showed or now not, the robust hints a brand new sponsorship deal could be within the bag come precisely per week after it emerged that Jumbo-Visma’s proposed 2024 merger with Soudal-QuickStep used to be now not going to happen.
“It’s true that we sat down with Soudal-QuickStep,” Zeeman mentioned within the interview, which used to be revealed concurrently through the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, “however it used to be exploratory.”
“We additionally sat down with [Soudal-QuickStep co-leader] Remco Evenepoel, however that used to be exploratory too. What fits our workforce very best, how real looking it’s, the benefits and downsides, does it make us higher or now not? That has been explored through plenty of folks.”
Even though hypothesis that Amazon could be fascinated with backing Jumbo-Visma turns out set to stay as hypothesis, remaining week, Dutch newspaper AD reported recent rumours that Pon Holdings BV, who owns the workforce’s motorbike sponsor, Cervélo, will likely be a key backer of the workforce in 2024.
Norwegian trade instrument and IT emblem Visma have already made it transparent they’re going to stay as a name sponsor, making an investment round €12 million.
Pon Holdings BV is a privately owned Netherlands corporate that still owns Cannondale and different motorbike manufacturers. They import Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda within the Netherlands and feature dealerships in the United States for Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and different luxurious manufacturers. Pon Holdings BV claims their annual revenues exceed €10 billion.
Whoever the sponsor would possibly but be, Zeeman mentioned that the workforce used to be taking a look ahead to proceeding for some other 10 years and that “I will be able to say after our time with Jumbo, we’re coming into a brand new bankruptcy.”
Within the long interview, Zeeman defined how he considered the upcoming departure of Primož Roglič from the workforce after 8 years and lots of the workforce’s best wins.
“He indicated that he needs one thing other within the years that stay to him as a bicycle owner,” Zeeman mentioned, “he needs to make a step to a workforce that rides for him. “
“Primož has been very open and fair about this, and we perceive and recognize that, that’s why we helped with the switch.” He recognised, although, Roglič can be an impressive rival within the future years.
In 2023 thus far, the workforce has taken all 3 Grand Excursions and 66 victories, and extra would possibly but are available in the previous couple of races of the season. However Zeeman additionally pointed to a scarcity of a 2023 win in Paris-Roubaix and the Excursion of Flanders, in addition to the opposite Monuments, as gaps that they might search to fill at some point.
“Within the Excursion of Flanders this yr, we crossed paths with [winner] Tadej Pogačar (UAE Staff Emirates) and in Paris-Roubaix, Wout [Van Aert] had dangerous good fortune and you can not say what would have came about if that hadn’t came about. However we can proceed to paintings intensively in opposition to those targets within the future years.”