Richard Plugge confirms interest in Uijtdebroeks and potential for more at Paris Roubaix in 2024

Richard Plugge, the team manager of Jumbo-Visma, which will soon rebrand as Visma | Lease a Bike, is focusing on setting new goals and improving strategies for the Tour in 2024, despite the team’s remarkable success in 2023. In a discussion with HLN, Plugge expressed that surpassing the achievements of 2023, a year where the team won three consecutive grand tours, will be a significant challenge. He emphasised the need for setting different yet equally challenging goals for the upcoming season.

A critical area for improvement highlighted by Plugge is the classic races, specifically mentioning Wout van Aert’s puncture at the Carrefour de l’Arbre during Paris-Roubaix. He stressed that punctures are not merely bad luck but something that can and should be prevented. Plugge believes that had Van Aert not suffered the puncture, he probably would have won Paris-Roubaix. He underscored the necessity of paying more attention to equipment to avoid similar issues in the future.

Plugge also mentioned the need for reinvention, not just for the team but for individual riders like Van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard, especially in preparation for the Tour. He acknowledged that with Primoz Roglic no longer on the team and the emergence of new competitors, the team must approach the Tour with improved strategies.

Regarding the future of Cian Uijtdebroeks, currently with BORA-hansgrohe, Plugge confirmed Jumbo-Visma’s interest in the talented Belgian, an interest that dates back to Uijtdebroeks’ junior years. However, he noted that Uijtdebroeks is still under contract and downplayed the likelihood of his joining Jumbo-Visma in 2024, stating that the team’s roster is already full. Uijtdebroeks’ own uncertainty about his future with BORA-hansgrohe has led to speculation about a potential move, but Plugge remained non-committal on this subject.