Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard is a doubt for this year’s Tour de France according to Team Jumbo-Visma sporting director Merijn Zeeman.
Zeeman says a decision has yet to be made regarding the Dane’s inclusion in their line-up, but this will be confirmed once Vingegaard returns from holiday.
“We have not yet decided that Jonas will go to the Tour,” said Zeeman in quotes published by VeloNews.
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“He is currently on vacation and when he returns, I want to hear what he thinks. Obviously, I think it’s pretty obvious that when you win the yellow jersey you want to defend it next year, so he could be taken for granted, but we have absolutely not decided. I want to talk about it first with Jonas and with the other coaches.”
Attention then turned to the Giro d’Italia after the route was revealed on Monday, which includes 70 kilometre of time trialling in what will be an intense final week of the race.
Zeeman explained that is a delicate balancing act deciding which riders will take part in the Tour or the Giro d’Italia, with Vingegaard yet to sample the brutal course at Corsa Rosa.
He added: “I also want to hear what Primoz (Roglic) thinks and I want to talk to all our coaches and staff members.
“It will take about two months to prepare all this, then in December we will know what we have to do.
“Obviously, the alternative is the Corsa Rosa, whose route seems suitable for both captains. Jonas has never raced the Giro, so it’s a chance for him if he wants to. He clearly has to be a time trial specialist to win it.
“Obviously, you have to be a complete rider with all that high ground and those very tough mountain stages, but in the time trials there are minutes to gain.
“Look at the two time trials of the Tour, he too is a time trial specialist, especially when he is in his best form. (Tadej) Pogacar is a specialist, as is (Remco) Evenepoel of course. I think that Primoz, Jonas, Pogacar, Evenepoel up to the moment the four best time trial specialists in the world and they can all do very well on the path of this Giro.”
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider Evenepoel has reportedly already decided which Grand Tour he will target next season, but has yet to reveal his decision.
After winning his first Grand Tour title at La Vuelta in September, it led to hopes that the Belgian would tussle alongside UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar and Vingegaard at the Tour de Fracne.
However, taking a shot at the Giro d’Italia in 2023 remains a strong possibility.
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