EFE · Road Competition · 03/13/2023
Merijn Zeeman, sporting director of Jumbo-Visma, admits the superiority of the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) over Jonas Vingegaard in the recent Paris-Nice, but clarifies that the dance “was not in its best moment of form” .
The technician considered Pogacar’s demonstration at the Carrera del Sol “impressive”, in which they won the overall and three stages, while another display, that of Primoz Roglic at the Tirrè-Adritic, was rated highly. Despite the excellent performance of the three-time winner of the Tour of Spain in Italy, Zeeman assured that “to go to the Giro and not to the Tour”.
“Pogacar is unbelievably good, I wasn’t really surprised by his superiority, but of course he was very impressive,” says Zeeman on the NOS channel.
The director of Jumbo-Visma explained his point of view of Vingegaard’s performance in Paris-Nice.
“Jonas has never won a week-long World Tour race. This was a goal after winning the Tour de France. Rams were optimistic about the result, but after training at altitude in Tenerife, Vingegaard had to dealing with some private matters that set him back and he wasn’t at his best last week. That’s a valid excuse,” he assured.
Regarding Primoz Roglic, winner of the Carrera dels dos mars, Zeeman highlighted the recovery of the Slovenian, who was sidelined for a long time due to a shoulder injury that forced him to undergo surgery.
“He was out for a long time with his shoulder injury, so he couldn’t get on the bike for a long time. That was the reason why we hadn’t lined him up in the beginning for La Tirrè and he doesn’t have to start until next week at the Volta a Catalunya. But the recovery was much faster and in the altitude training we saw that he progressed very quickly,” he commented.
“Since he had also had enough weeks of training, we decided that it was better for him to compete in the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic,” explained the coach.
Zeeman highlighted the surprise that Roglic’s display has given him in the Italian race.
“Roglic is a very special athlete who, in addition to being very strong, also knows very well what he can and cannot do. Winning three stages and the final classification was a big surprise for us. But very nice,” he underlines .
Despite the great impression offered by Roglic, the three-time winner of the Tour of Spain contested the Giro d’Italia, and not the Tour de France.
“The Giro is also a very special race for us. We have now won with Vingegaard and Roglic both the Tour and the Vuelta, but never the Giro. So this is a very important goal. Normally Roglic will not do the Tour,” he to say.
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