Jumbo-Visma director shares the turbulent behind-the-scenes of the Vuelta a Espana

Last Thursday (26), according to the website WielerFlits, during a chat on a podcast, Merijin Zeeman, sporting director of Jumbo-Visma, shared details about the team’s dynamics during the Vuelta a España and explained that, tensions occurred between the athletes.

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The coach said that the team’s attitude towards the three leaders, Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, was intense and that, due to this, ruptures occurred that affected the athletes’ performance. When talking about the event, in the phase that runs through Alto de L’Angliru, the coach states that both “should have stayed together”.

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“Everything went as we wanted again. There were three of us left and that was really the moment when things didn’t go well. Sepp was unable to accompany Primoz and Jonas at one point. Afterwards there was no more teamwork”, said Merijin Zeeman, sporting director at Jumbo-Visma.

The coach continued to explain: “Everything that happened up to that point was teamwork, but at Angliru they should have stayed together. Attacking to make other riders work is something different than when you start attacking each other. I should add right away that when you go up hills on 20% slopes, you run with a heart rate of 200, so you can’t expect these guys to think clearly.”

Jumbo-Visma’s sporting director reported that after noticing the disagreements, he brought together the team’s cyclists to define and listen to opinions about making Sepp Kuss the leader, everyone agreed. However, Primoz Roglic did not immediately accept the decision but, throughout the competition, he managed to respect everyone’s decision.

“What do we stand for now? Who are we really? Seven drivers agreed that Kuss’ victory should be the final result. Primoz had a harder time with this, but agreed. This also happened because his teammates indicated this very strongly. In the end, he said ‘Sepp has to win and you can count on me’”, concluded the coach.

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