· Age: 30
· Tours disputed: 2
· Best result: 4, 2018
The laggard in professional cycling continues his ascent and is arguably the favorite of the Tour de France 2020.
After finishing on the podium at the Giro d’Italia and winning the Vuelta a España last year, Roglič relaunched this year, crushing the competition at the Tour de l’Ain before continuing in that form in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
An accident forced him out of the race, so there are question marks as to how that affected his rise to power. Great departure, but he seems on track to take on Egan Bernal and anyone else.
There are concerns whether Roglič, who has walked away from Bernal with ease over the past two weeks, hasn’t hit top form too early, and whether he can keep him going in the brutal final week of the Tour. . Time will tell us. It is, after all, a unique season where the preparation is difficult to judge, and Roglič is a rider who entered the Giro all guns, only to fade late.
Still, the Slovenian learned from this Giro and won the Vuelta, proving he has what it takes to manage a Grand Tour and lead a team.
He’s been so good so far that he’s earned his place at the top of the Jumbo-Visma hierarchy, although Steve Kruijswijk’s absence means it’s just him and Tom Dumoulin to lead the line now.
With his form, the strength of the team around him and that penultimate day of the time trial it’s hard to see anyone else win, he’s right there in the favorite stakes.
· Age: 29
· The towers ran: 5
· Best result: 2, 2018
Having not raced for 14 months, the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia can afford a slightly less explosive start to the restarted 2020 campaign than Roglič.
While he didn’t make the headlines in the same way, there was a lot to say that the Dutchman was well on his way to returning to the Grand Tour after his 2019 woes, and possibly even on the right way to compete for this Tour.
If Roglič’s theory of hitting peak form too early holds up, then Dumoulin could be seen as timing his rise to perfection, getting better and better throughout a grueling week of racing on the Dauphiné.
Roglič is at the top of the pecking order, but Dumoulin, in Kruijswijk’s absence, now takes on even greater responsibility.
· Age: 25
· Tours disputed: 1
· Best result: DNF, 2019 after a crash in the time trial
Without a doubt, Wout van Aert has been the star driver since the resumption of the season, winning Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, the Belgian time trial title and a stage at the Dauphiné.
However, it’s not the races he won that are the most relevant here, but the ones he doesn’t. Van Aert spent the rest of the Dauphiné pulling the peloton on the flat, through medium mountains and even high mountains. Comments from other riders painted a picture of a field stunned by the strength of a 25-year-old who has yet to discover his limits on the road.
If he can climb as well as he did at the Dauphiné, and sprint as well as at Milan-San Remo, he could win several stages and even the green jersey, if he had the freedom to do so on the Tour. of France.
On that form it would be hard to deny him that chance, but Jumbo-Visma appears to be all-in on the GC candidacy, and Van Aert has previously indicated that he will put aside any personal ambitions to back that up. If so, Roglič and Dumoulin could not hope for a better all-around servant. A real luxury.
· Age: 25
· The towers ran: 0
· Best result: N / A
Another rider who turned heads and dropped jaws with a sensational Dauphiné, Sepp Kuss starts the Tour as Jumbo’s most important mountain servant.
When Ineos tried to shred the ground on the Col de Porte, Kuss led Roglič and ended an attack from Bernal with almost laughable ease. When given freedom after the retirements of Roglič and Kruijswijk, he won the wild final with a quite remarkable performance.
Based on that one Dauphiné alone, Jumbo-Visma, in his quest to imitate Ineos, has a runner who can stay in front of his leader quite close the entire race, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kuss snag a result Respectable GC without aiming for one.
It should be emphasized that Kuss was not only chosen on the form. His place in the Tour lineup has been set from December and his relationship with Roglič is crucial. He was there at the Giro when there were lessons to be learned all around, and he was there when the wrongs were righted at La Vuelta. The couple have experience together, they are said to enjoy working together, and it should be a crucial partnership.
· Age: 30
· The towers ran: 3
· Best result: 24th, 2019
If Jumbo-Visma is the new Ineos, he’ll need more than a luxury servant who could possibly lead another team. Advance George Bennett, who guided Roglič to the Tour de l’Ain title before enjoying a few days of freedom to win the Gran Piemonte and take second place in Il Lombardia.
Unlike Kuss, the New Zealander was not part of the original squad roster, but changed his plans to target the Giro once it was clear that Laurens De Plus would need more time to recovering from his injuries and had agreed to join Ineos.
The fact that Jumbo-Visma could simply bring in a horseman like Bennett speaks volumes about their newfound strength. The New Zealander is a pure climber who finished in the top 10 of the Giro and the Vuelta, and who was doing a Grand Tour in 2017 until he had to retire.
You feel Bennett would love more of his own opportunities in the future, but you can’t see him cloud his dedication to the team this year, having even helped ‘block the road’ during the year sprint stages. last. He will have an even bigger role this time around.
· Age: 35
· The towers ran: 11
· Best result: 36th, 2009, 5 stage wins
After a few confusing seasons at Katusha-Alpecin during which he attempted to become a cobbled Classics rider, the German found his late career niche pulling platoons for Jumbo-Visma.
While the time trial victories have not returned, he looks strong and confident since joining Jumbo-Visma in 2019, and his ability to set the pace on the flat has been virtually unmatched.
In a team that has no shortage of climbers, Martin is the engine room, and you’ll have to get used to seeing him, mouth open, forearms draped over his handlebars, dictating the tempo of the next three weeks.
· Age: 34
· The towers ran: 8
· Best result: 5, 2010
The Dutchman is a mainstay of the squad leading the line in the Grand Tours, but he’s now moved into a supporting role – and that’s one he seems to enjoy.
Gesink turned pro with the team in 2007, when it was known as Rabobank, and has a fifth place to his name in the 2010 Tour, plus four more top 10 results in the Grand Tour.
He might not be as strong a climber as Kuss or Bennett, but what he adds to the mix is a wealth of experience.
· Age: 26
· The towers ran: 2
· Best result: 139e, 2018
The Norwegian is Kruijswijk’s replacement, and that’s interesting.
Jumbo-Visma was never going to find another GC candidate in such a short time, but they could have called another climber. Instead, they tipped the scales for their team with Jansen – a driver of similar profile to Van Aert.
He’ll add to the engine room on the flat, but it’s no exaggeration to see him lead Van Aert for a sprint or two, if the opportunity presents itself.
Without any disrespect towards the 26-year-old, who is a real talent and very much on the rise, the loss of Kruijswijk can only be seen as a blow to Jumbo-Visma.