Jumbo-Visma means business at Critérium du Dauphiné with Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert taking the lead

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Jumbo-Visma may try to belittle, but the Dutch team goes to Critérium du Dauphiné with a team that means business.

Tour de France favorite GC Primoz Roglic will lead in the hope of a green Wout van Aert shirt.

If that wasn’t enough, they will be joined by last year’s Grande Boucle runner-up Jonas Wingeard, Stephen Cruiswijk, Thies Benout and Christoph Laporte, with Chris Harper joining the squad.

The eight-day race is at the heart of Jumbo-Visma’s preparations for the Tour de France, sandwiched between two high-altitude races. For this reason, the team is underestimating its chances, but its composition would like to be different and the seven-man team will be the favorite to break the strangulation of Ineos Grenadiers in the race.

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“We think that the athletes will recover after the first altitude training and then we want to show ourselves. But winning this Dauphiné is not an end in itself, “said sporting director Grisha Nirman. “This is a good preparation for the Tour, which remains our main goal. After Dauphiné we will continue to train at altitude, but it is also important to compete in the preparation period and then this competition comes at the perfect time.

“I expect that Primozh and Wout will want to test their form and further improve their rhythm of the competition. Many eyes will be on us, so we will have to compete in an intelligent way. ”

Jumbo-Visma is fighting at last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné without its great leaders Roglic and Van Aert. Roglic chose to skip the Tour de France set-up as he saved his energy for the big summer with the Tour, the Olympics and the Vuelta a España, while Van Aert was forced out of it after undergoing appendix surgery a few weeks earlier.

With a great leader coming together next week, we can expect a much bigger impact from the team this year.

While Zeeman belittles the team’s ambitions for the race, it’s hard to see that Roglic isn’t getting involved in the GC battle – he just has to stay on his bike throughout the race. Roglic’s chances of finally claiming success in the Tour de France are declining every season, and Dauphiné will be the first indication of how well he is doing.

Struggle for a place in the Tour de France

The Jumbo-Visma Critérium du Dauphiné team looks like an almost complete list of the Tour de France, but this is still unresolved and the French competition may be the only remaining chance for some to prove they are ready to make the team for July.

In the past, Jumbo-Visma was brave and confirmed her full line-up at the Tour de France at the team’s training camp in January. This year is a little harder for the team with many new additions, which are intensifying and making the selection of the final eight a much bigger challenge.

Interview in the Dutch edition General newspaper earlier this week with Zeeman said only Roglič, Van Aert and Vingegaard had seats in less than a month until the tour began in Copenhagen.

This leaves Kruijswijk, Benoot and Laporte of the Critérium du Dauphiné team vying for their seats in the second major tour of the year.

There is strong competition with Sepp Cousins, Rohan Dennis, Mike Tunisen, Robert Gesink and Nathan van Hoydonk, all potentially in the race for one of the five remaining seats on the Tour de France.

They will join the Tour de Suisse later this month, where they will also hope to prove themselves a place on the Tour team.

As Jumbo-Visma strives for both yellow and green on the Tour de France, it will have to strike a balance between climbers and larger roulette wheels.

Roglic is likely to receive more support, but the team will need to make sure that Van Aert is given some help. Even with his huge three stage victories, Van Aert did not reach the points needed for the green shirt and it will take much more concerted effort to achieve it.

The next two weeks will be crucial in deciding who will make the incision and who will be cut.

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