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Road Culture

Teams of the year: Jumbo-Visma and Boels-Dolmans

Jumbo went big in 2020; Boels-Dolmans has dominated for for years.

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Women’s team of the year: Boels-Dolmans

No men’s or women’s team has so thoroughly dominated cycling over the past half decade as Boels-Dolmans. Since its inception in 2010, the Dutch team has owned the UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings for five consecutive seasons, from 2015-2019.

Although Boels was nudged off the top ranking this year by Trek-Segafredo, the team was still the best in the world. Boels won six WorldTour races, and its riders garnered countless other world (Anna van der Breggen) and national (Christine Majerus, Amalie Dideriksen, and van der Breggen) titles, as well.

The squad’s depth is what sets it apart. With riders who can win on any given day, on any given terrain, the squad rarely shows up as an underdog. Just look at the results from the spring classics: Van der Breggen won La Flèche Wallonne Féminine for the sixth time, while Jolien D’hoore won Gent-Wevelgem. Then, the team took first and second at the Tour of Flanders with Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Amy Pieters. With a cast of riders who have so much talent and experience, the team is never limited to just one option.

Van der Breggen credited the team’s tight-knit bond for the success.

“We have many training camps together, if everyone knows each other well and you can compete with each other and also train with each other and not be afraid to show who you really are, it makes you ride better,” she said.

—Betsy Welch

Team Jumbo-Visma racing
Jumbo-Visma was a threat to win every race it entered this year. Photo: Tim De Waele / Getty Images

Men’s team of the year: Jumbo-Visma

Jumbo-Visma didn’t win the UCI World Team rankings this year. And the Dutch squad didn’t win the Tour de France — in fact, Jumbo-Visma lost the sport’s biggest race in dramatic fashion. So, why did we elect Jumbo-Visma as our men’s team of the year?

Simply put, Jumbo was the only squad in the WorldTour that was capable of winning every major race it started, from the Tour de France, to the Giro d’Italia, to the Tour of Flanders, to Il Lombardia. This well-rounded nature is a credit to the versatility of the team’s riders.

Jumbo was among the best classics teams in the world, thanks to the blossoming of Wout van Aert into the sport’s version of a Swiss army knife. Van Aert can win on the cobbles — he can also win bunch sprints, individual time trials, and breakaways. Primož Roglič is now cycling’s best or second-best grand tour racer, and Roglič can also win big one-day classics. Dylan Groenewegen is the sport’s fastest heavy sprinter. And George Bennett, Stephen Kruijswiuk, Tom Dumoulin, and even Sepp Kuss are riders with a variety of skills.

And, after years of building, Jumbo-Visma has finally achieved what no other squad in the WorldTour was capable of achieving: Build a grand tour team to take on Team Ineos Grenadiers. At the Tour de France, where Jumbo-Visma was strongest, this achievement was on full display.

—Fred Dreier

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.