Steven Kruijswijk was the absolute leader of Jumbo-Visma in the Tour de France this year and so it seems that the most changes for him are the decision to start with three leaders in France in 2020. However, the 32-year-old rider sees the new situation with his team primarily as an opportunity to do better than his third place in 2019.
"I really wanted to go back to the Tour to see if I could raise the bar even more," says Kruijswijk, who this year stood next to winner Egan Bernal and number two Geraint Thomas on the podium in Paris. "Especially now that I have the opportunity to start in such a strong team, which can work to my advantage."
Jumbo-Visma announced last Friday that the team will put everything on profit from the Tour next season and will therefore set up Kruijswijk, Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic and acquisition Tom Dumoulin in France.
Although Roglic, as leader of the world ranking, is currently ranked number one in the hierarchy, all three leaders will have the chance to go for the Tour win. They also know that the downside is that they can get into a role where they have to be servants for one of the other two leaders.
"That can be a consequence, but that is part of it if you as a team want to win the Tour. Then you go with the strongest possible line-up and with as many riders as possible who can win the round", says Kruijswijk. "We now know that and we also accept from each other that it can run like this. But it starts with the fact that we as a team want to win the Tour."
De Brabander was allowed to tell the team management, just like the other riders, what his preferences were for 2020. "If I really wanted to be the only leader somewhere, I probably should have opted for the Giro d'Italia. But I am sitting been with this team for a while and said: if we win the Tour, I want to be part of it. Even if I don't win myself. "
266Three leaders at Jumbo-Visma: 'No Movistar scenario'
"My goals grow with the team"
Of the three leaders, Kruijswijk has been at Jumbo-Visma for the longest time. The climber joined the training team of the then Rabobank in 2007 and has been riding the Dutch professional team since 2010.
He has experienced the low points - in 2015 the formation booked only six victories - and sees the current status of Jumbo-Visma as one of the best teams in the peloton as a big advantage - also for his own ambitions.
"I see that this team is growing and that I can grow my own goals," says Kruijswijk. "The biggest proof of that is that I became third in the Tour last season with a team that was really there. It only gives confidence for next season that the team is getting stronger: maybe there is more to it for me."
224Dumoulin: "Don't wait for the Tour that suits me"
"I am not under Tom or Primoz"
De Brabander approaches the arrival of Dumoulin, a second Dutch topper for the rankings, as "a compliment for the team".
"I know that I am part of a team that takes part in the prizes. I knew that there would come a time when we would go full for the Tour win and I also knew that we would have several leaders."
"It is not such a point for me to share the leadership," continues Kruijswijk. "It is not that I say now: I am under Tom and Primoz. It is also an opportunity for me. In recent years I have shown that I can participate at this level and that I do not have to be afraid that I will follow year can no longer participate. "
See also: Jumbo-Visma 'all-in' for Tour profit: 'Taking risks for the highest'