The former Giro d’Italia winner returned to action at the Dutch National Championships in June, where he won the time trial, before confirming that with a Tour de Suisse outing. He won a time trial silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics before his injury ended his season in September.Jumbo-Visma have tough decisions ahead of them regarding the selection of the Tour de France, although Primož Roglič, the three-time Vuelta a España winner, is set to take the lead once again. Jonas Vingegaard was a surprise second place in 2021 behind Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and is likely to want a place on the starting line with the Tour starting in his native Denmark.
Plugge acknowledged that the Tour de France route unveiled by ASO on Thursday morning was balanced.
“It’s going to be a bit of everything. There will be races in the wind, cobblestones, some nice uphill finishes, and there will be quite a few kilometers against the clock, ”he said, according to The last news.
“Certainly the first step could be a good chance [for yellow]. For our Danish [Vingegaard], but we also have a Belgian [Wout van Aert] and a Slovenian [Roglič]. »
Jumbo-Visma typically announces their Tour de France squad well in advance and, over the past two seasons, has publicly shared their eight rider roster out of season. The 2022 course came out minutes before Plugge spoke to the press, but the Dutchman left the door open for Dumoulin, who made his last Tour de France appearance in 2020, when he helped Roglič to finish second in the General classification.
“We still have to see who we’ll take, but they could do it there. Tom Dumoulin too. I also find it very good that the Galibier is included twice during such classic mountain stages and that there is an arrival at Alpe d’Huez. There are great opportunities out there, ”Plugge said.
« [The route] it looks nice, with chances of wind too. We’re good at it. Indeed, Wout has many chances here. There are more, but he has a lot of chances. We have to come to the Tour with a strong team to put it in a good position.
“Normally he will be there anyway. We are making plans now, but Wout is part of our strongest team. But this is not the beginning, it is the last step. we have to come up with the best battle plan for that. “
Van Aert has made no secret of his ambitions to win the green jersey by points in the Tour de France in the near future. The course certainly gives him the potential for success, but his talents have led him to a time trial, a sprint and a mountain stage victory in 2021, so a versatile course suits his skills.
“In a Grand Tour I prefer not to have them [cobbles]. With women, we saw at Paris-Roubaix that it is a profession for specialists. In men’s races, there are also only specialists, ”said Plugge. “But a Grand Tour rider has to be comfortable on all terrains, even when riding on cobblestones. Our men can do it, I think. “