Dylan van Baarle of Team Jumbo-Visma reflects on his first season with the team with a sense of achievement and looks forward to the 2024 Olympic Games with anticipation. In a conversation with CyclingOnline.nl, he expressed his desire to participate in the Olympics, believing the course will play to his strengths.
Van Baarle’s 2023 season saw him clinch the Dutch National Championships, win the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, and contribute to team victories in both the Tour and Vuelta. However, he hopes for a year with fewer physical setbacks, particularly in April, which he feels hindered his performance. He aspires to ride in the Olympic Games, considering the course favourable for his style.
Entering his eleventh professional year, Van Baarle’s enthusiasm remains undiminished. He recently began his preparations for 2024 and is excited about racing again. He finds it special that the Tour de France route passes through Monaco and Nice, areas familiar to him, as he has resided in Monaco for five years.
Van Baarle plans to maintain a similar program to previous years, focusing on individual opportunities in the spring and then supporting his team in the Tour and possibly the Vuelta. He aims to be fully fit to play a significant role in the finals of major spring classics. While acknowledging Wout van Aert as the team leader for his ability to compete against top cyclists like Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogačar, Van Baarle also sees opportunities for himself and teammates like Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot.
He recalls his Dutch National Championship victory in Sittard-Geleen as a collaborative team effort and feels satisfied with his contributions to Jumbo-Visma’s successes in the Tour and Vuelta. Van Baarle has his sights set on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, viewing the road race course as suitable for classic riders like himself. He believes the race’s smaller field and reduced control could work to his advantage. While the final decision rests with national coach Koos Moerenhout, Van Baarle is keen to prove himself worthy of selection. However, he acknowledges the challenge of balancing his spring classics campaign, the Tour (and possibly the Vuelta), and the Olympics. He does not anticipate competing in the National Time Trial Championships due to these competing priorities.