Eddy Merckx has criticized Jumbo-Visma's tactics during the Tour de France.
According to the Belgian cycling legend, the Dutch team rode stupidly by consolidating the yellow jersey of Primoz Roglic for two weeks.
"Above all, Jumbo-Visma drove stupidly. They checked everything for three weeks and didn't let anything happen," Merckx told
"But they forgot that a young guy was only 57 seconds behind. What a mistake!"
Roglic wore the yellow jersey for two weeks and seemed to become the first rider of a Dutch team since Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 to win the Tour.
However, the Slovenian was surprised on Saturday by fellow countryman Tadej Pogacar, who was almost two minutes faster and conquered the yellow jersey.
Five-time Tour winner Merckx was not surprised that Pogacar took the yellow jersey.
"Not at all. Just ask my wife and other people around me. I've been saying over the last few days that those 57 seconds were not enough to be sure of the win."
"I saw Pogacar's victory coming from miles away. All he could do was wait until the time trial. He knew he couldn't attack in the mountains, because Jumbo-Visma was too strong. He just had to stay under the radar and save his strength for the time trial. "
Primoz Roglic is consoled after the time trial by teammates Tom Dumoulin and Wout van Aert. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Primoz Roglic is consoled after the time trial by teammates Tom Dumoulin and Wout van Aert.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
'Jumbo-Visma has fallen into its own trap'
That Roglic lost the yellow jersey is, according to Merckx, a tactical blunder on the part of his team.
The team should have tried to extend the lead, rather than consolidate the margins.
“Jumbo-Visma has fallen into its own trap,” said Merckx.
"It was clear that Pogacar was not going to attack and that they could not release him. But they should have attacked much earlier in the Tour, so they could have released or tire Pogacar."
See also: View the final classification of the Tour de France with Dumoulin in seventh place