“Putting together a new cycling team is quite a challenge”, Tromp confirms. “Even if you can do it under the wings of an existing and professional organisation like Team Jumbo-Visma. We managed to bring together a talented group of riders and set some pretty ambitious goals from the beginning. We didn’t win a national road jersey, but for the rest, we achieved all our goals. I have also seen enormous growth in our riders, both physically and personally, so we can be satisfied with the season. The team management has also made a huge step forward. The knowledge and experience from the men’s World Tour Team are invaluable.”
That does not mean Tromp and her team will sit back and relax this year. The goals for this season are clear, such as good results in the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. “The first Tour de France for women is a priority this season. Hopefully we will win some stages”, the team manager explains. “In addition, the national championships, the Vuelta and the Giro are also important goals for us.”
The spring classics are on the programme first. Last season Marianne Vos secured the team’s first win at Gent-Wevelgem, followed by a sweet victory in front of her home crowd in the Amstel Gold Race. This season Team Jumbo-Visma Women will again focus on the spring classics and the Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in particular. The team will ride with two leaders: last year’s leader Marianne Vos and valuable addition Coryn Labecki.
“Coryn is a 29-year-old rider from California who is the same kind of rider as Marianne”, Tromp clarifies. “They both have a lot of experience as well, but I am convinced that they can still learn a lot from each other and reach an even higher level. In addition, we have several assets for the finals.”
Besides Labecki, the team found reinforcements in 20-year-old Swiss Noemi Rüegg and 18-year-old Linda Riedmann from Germany. The latter showed herself to be very successful in the juniors. Rüegg showed last year that she can be very active in the front on a difficult course.
“In addition to attracting the new girls, we are of course also focusing on the development of our stayers”, Tromp continues. “Amber Kraak, for example, made the switch from rowing and has now completed her first winter as a cyclist. She already went through a nice development trajectory and I am curious about her first classics. The same goes for Riejanne Markus, who already showed nice things in small tours and time trials. Jip van den Bos and Karlijn Swinkels have also made nice steps this winter. Anna Henderson made a huge development in one year. She will also have her chances in the spring races, which suit her very well. We will have several assets to reach our goals”, says Tromp.
These goals fit into a bigger plan for the future. Tromp’s ambition is clear: To become the best women’s team in the peloton by 2024. “We will realise that growth step by step. In the first place, we are looking to strengthen our team across the board to be good in the classics, stage races, and climbing races. In addition, we will focus on the professional support of our riders. We are working closely with food coaches and we have hired someone to refine our technical skills. We will also go on an altitude training camp more often and discuss in detail how we can race tactically. These are essential matters that will benefit the results. I am convinced of this. What also fits in that story is attracting good sponsors, such as Vacansoleil. It will appear on the shirts of the women’s team from this season. They have invested in cycling in the past, so they know the business. They help ensure Team Jumbo-Visma is a solid employer for the athletes and employees. That mental peace is paramount, so we can focus on our task: Getting great results in races.”