Steven will not appear at the start of the tenth stage of the Giro d’Italia. The Dutch leader of Team Jumbo-Visma tested positive on Covid-19 on the rest day. As a result, he has to leave the race.

Steven has no complaints or symptoms and he was very motivated to win this Giro d’Italia. He received the news of his positive test this morning. The other riders and staff members of Team Jumbo-Visma tested negative twice and may continue the Giro d’Italia.

For Steven the news comes very unexpected. “Within the team we take a lot of measures to avoid contamination. And I just feel fit. I can’t believe I got it. It is a very big disappointment to get this news. It is a pity that I have to leave the Giro this way.”

The last mountain stage before the first rest day of the Giro d’Italia has not gone as planned for Team Jumbo-Visma. The ninth stage was won by the Portuguese fighter Ruben Guerreiro under autumnal circumstances. Steven  lost time on some of his competitors.

As is often the case in this Giro, it was a big fight to get into the breakaway of the day. Ultimately, eight riders managed to enter the tough final together. Under the leadership of various GC teams, the peloton rode a solid pace towards the foot of the final climb. Chris Harper, Tobias Foss and Koen Bouwman were able to assist Steven well into the final. In the presence of the young Norwegian and the Dutchman, the leader of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the finish line.

Steven has safely gone through the long and hectic fifth Giro stage. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma finished in the presence of teammate Tobias Foss and the other classification riders in a group behind the impressive winner Filippo Ganna. The Dutchmen moved up to eighth place in the classification.

The difficult stage with about 4,700 uphill metres was tailor-made for a large breakaway group. Eight of them gained a safe advantage on the peloton, which always kept control nevertheless. World time trial champion Ganna proved to be the strongest and crossed the line solo in the autumnal Camigliatello Silano. Team Jumbo-Visma was in the front of the peloton all day. Steven was also well assisted by his teammates on the long final climb.

Steven has made it through the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia unscathed. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma was well surrounded by his teammates in the final and retained his tenth place in the general classification.

A small leading group was caught well before the finish. The stage ended in a bunch sprint that was won by Arnaud Démare.

“We arrived safely today”, Kruijswijk said. “We had to pay attention in the final. It was raining in the descent and the road started to get a bit wet. As a result, we were not really comfortable, but we got through it well. The boys kept me in front. That was also necessary with the narrow roads and the bad road surface.”

The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma is happy with his current shape and hopes to improve a bit in the course of the Giro. “I now have the level that I had hoped and expect to attain. I am confident that my shape will improve. This year I have had few racing days, so I have not yet reached my top level. If everything goes as it should go, I expect to be able to maintain or even improve this level.”

Steven has done very well regarding his general classification in the third stage of the Giro d’Italia. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma climbed among the best on Mount Etna and finished the stage in tenth place just behind Nibali and Fuglsang. In the overall standings the Dutchman is also in tenth position, at 1.15 behind the new leader Joao Almeida.

The stage was marked by an early breakaway of eight riders. They got a maximum lead of more than five minutes and eventually competed for the stage victory. Behind them, Steven was well-protected by his teammates. They brought their leader to the final climb in an ideal position. On the climb, Steven had a hard time with the continuous accelerations. However, he was able to return again and again by continuing to ride his own pace.

“It was a very tough stage”, Steven explained. “The pace was very high, especially at the end. As a result, the race was really split apart. Luckily I was able to join the best guys, but it wasn’t easy. For today my performance was good enough, but it still needs to improve. I had a good feeling and I didn’t lose too much time. I just lack that few percent to really compete with the best. Today was a good test and I am glad that I passed the test really well. The Giro is still very long and you never know what can happen, as we have seen today for example, with GC guys losing a lot of time or are already out of contention due to bad luck.”

 

Team Jumbo-Visma has made it through the second stage of the Giro well. The stage with the final climb to Agrigento was one for the punchers. Steven crossed the line in the reduced peloton, behind winner Diego Ulissi. As a result, the young Norwegian moved up a place in the rankings. He is now fourth.

Immediately after the start in Alcamo, five attackers were in the breakaway. They were caught about eight kilometres from the finish line. Team Jumbo-Visma kept Steven out of trouble. This ensured that the leader could start the hectic final in a good position.

That was, of course, to the satisfaction of sports director Addy Engels. “Steven is looking good and fresh. Tomorrow promises to be the first real test. If opportunities arise, we will certainly take them.”

“It’s just a matter of getting back into it”, Steven said. “The goal today was to survive the hectic final and cross the finish line safely. We did. I’m feeling good. Tomorrow, with the ride to Etna, we will find out how good my shape really is.”

Team Jumbo-Visma looks back on the opening time trial of the Giro with mixed feelings. The 15.1 kilometre long time trial from Monreale to Palermo immediately caused big differences between some general classification riders. The wind was a determining factor in this. Steven also had to deal with this. Tobias Foss proved his worth by finishing fifth in the race against the clock.

On the Italian island of Sicily, the treacherous wind created special scenes. Halfway through the time trial, the wind changed direction, so that the later starters, including many general classification riders, could no longer set a top time. The brand new time trial world champion Flilipo Ganna won in his home country. By doing so he clinched the first pink jersey.

Sports director Addy Engels had noticed the changed wind. “We deliberately chose to let Steven start later. We knew the strong gusts would diminish later in the afternoon. We can conclude that it was the wrong choice. It was not expected that the wind would still shift like that. Steven rode a solid time trial. There is nothing to worry about.”

Afterwards Steven was also amazed by the changed wind. “The direction of the wind was very different than during the recon. It was really hard to get the right speed. I finished close to many other GC men. So I was not the only one. It is a shame that I lost a lot of time on Geraint Thomas in particular, but there are still plenty of opportunities for us to come. We know what to do now.”

Steven Kruijswijk leads the selection of Team Jumbo-Visma in the Giro d’Italia in October. Kruijswijk is the designated leader within the Dutch formation and is going for a good result in the general classification.

Team Jumbo-Visma’s original plan was to let Kruijswijk ride the Tour de France, but due to a crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné, La Grande Boucle came too early for the 33-year-old rider. He is now aiming for a top result in the Giro d’Italia. The core of the Giro selection, including Kruijswijk, is currently preparing at an altitude training camp in Tignes.

The number three of last year’s Tour de France hopes to appear at the start in Monreale in a good shape. “I notice that I feel better and better. My injured shoulder has not completely healed yet, but I can do my training properly. Things are going in the right direction and I am looking forward to the Giro. In the first week we can immediately brace ourselves. The third stage already has an uphill finish. That will be a measure for me to see where I stand. I just hope that I am completely fit when the Giro starts, so that we can go for a good result in the general classification.”


Jumbo-Visma Riders – Giro d’Italia (3 – 25 October 2020)

Steven Kruijswijk
Koen Bouwman
Tony Martin
Christoph Pfingsten
Tobias Foss
Chris Harper
Antwan Tolhoek
Jos van Emden

Steven Kruijswijk leads the selection of Team Jumbo-Visma in the Giro d’Italia in October. Kruijswijk is the designated leader within the Dutch formation and is going for a good result in the general classification.

Team Jumbo-Visma’s original plan was to let Kruijswijk ride the Tour de France, but due to a crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné, La Grande Boucle came too early for the 33-year-old rider. He is now aiming for a top result in the Giro d’Italia. The core of the Giro selection, including Kruijswijk, is currently preparing at an altitude training camp in Tignes.

The number three of last year’s Tour de France hopes to appear at the start in Monreale in a good shape. “I notice that I feel better and better. My injured shoulder has not completely healed yet, but I can do my training properly. Things are going in the right direction and I am looking forward to the Giro. In the first week we can immediately brace ourselves. The third stage already has an uphill finish. That will be a measure for me to see where I stand. I just hope that I am completely fit when the Giro starts, so that we can go for a good result in the general classification.”


Jumbo-Visma Riders – Giro d’Italia (3 – 25 October 2020)

Steven Kruijswijk
Koen Bouwman
Tony Martin
Christoph Pfingsten
Tobias Foss
Chris Harper
Antwan Tolhoek
Jos van Emden

Steven will start in the Tour de l’Ain this Friday together with his teammates Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin. The three leaders continue their Tour preparation in the three-day French stage race.

This is the first race in the build-up towards the Tour de France. The riders have had a very good altitude training in Tignes. Now it is important to get into the race rhythm. Yellow in Paris is their big goal and this is an important piece of the puzzle in the build up to that goal.

The Tour de l’Ain consists of a relatively flat stage and two stages with an uphill finish. The second stage finishes on the Col du Grand Colombier, a seventeen kilometres long climb in the French Jura.

Jumbo Visma riders – Tour de l’Ain (07/08-09/08)

Steven Kruijswijk
Tom Dumoulin
Primoz Roglic
Robert Gesink
Tony Martin
George Bennett