In December Richard Moore travelled to Catalunya to spend time with the team formerly known as LottoNL-Jumbo, now Jumbo-Visma, as they began their preparation for the 2019 season.
The Dutch squad has been around in various guises since the mid-1980s but they hit a rocky patch when their long-time sponsor, Rabobank, left the sport following a series of doping scandals in 2012. A former publisher, Richard Plugge, took over ownership and steered the ship through choppy waters as they tried to rebuild and find long-term sponsors.
Now, with committed partners in Jumbo and Visma, they have become one of the most formidable and versatile teams in the peloton, with Grand Tour contenders in Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic, a world class sprinter in Dylan Groenewegen, cyclocross and classics star Wout van Aert and former time trial world champion Tony Martin.
In this episode we hear from Plugge, Kruijswijk, Roglic, team stalwart Robert Gesink and talented young prospect Pascal Eeckhoorn, as well as coaches Merijn Zeeman and Mathieu Heijboer.