In just three years, Team Jumbo-Visma Women has stamped its authority on the women’s peloton, boasting multiple stage wins at esteemed tours. Sports Technical Manager Rutger Tijssen aims to elevate the team’s stature by reinforcing the philosophy that “cycling is a team sport.” To that end, the team will undergo significant staff changes for 2024. Maarten van Kooij, Jan Boven, and Jos van Emden will take on coaching roles, replacing outgoing staff.
Sporting Director Merijn Zeeman is enthusiastic about the reshuffle, believing that closer integration between the women’s and men’s teams will drive growth. Tijssen’s recruiting strategy focuses on balance, ensuring a mix of youth and experience for multiple race scenarios. With the addition of new riders like Mijntje Geurts and Lieke Nooijen, the team appears well-rounded and poised for the challenges ahead.
In terms of recruitment, Tijssen emphasises balance. “For 2024, we’ve put together a well-balanced team to maximise each rider’s skill set,” he says. The departure of riders like Karlijn Swinkels and Noemi Ruëgg has led to the signing of Mijntje Geurts, Margaux Vigie, and Dutch time-trial specialist Lieke Nooijen (winner of 2 Districtenpijl – Ekeren-Deurne and the TT at the Watersley Challenge). The latter is already keen to learn from Dutch time trial champion Riejanne Markus.
While the team is ambitious, Tijssen stresses the importance of individual growth to achieve collective success. With a balanced roster, including nearly 30% under the age of 23, the definition of ‘winning’ extends beyond first-place finishes. As the team heads into 2024, the cycling community watches closely. Will Team Jumbo-Visma Women’s changes prove to be the catalyst for reaching new pinnacles of success? The answer lies on the open road.
In closing, Tijssen makes the team’s goal unequivocal: “Winning is important to us. We are an ambitious top sports team.” Yet he’s aware that success is multi-dimensional, especially for a team where almost 30% of the riders are under 23. “A top-ten finish in an important race can also be a ‘win’ for these riders,” he concludes.