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The Tour de France-winner squad will stay with its Cervélo frames, which joined in 2021, as the team shakes up its material partners for 2023 in a quest for improved performance.
“Team Jumbo-Visma is always seeking ways to develop, and we firmly feel this move will advance us. Together with SRAM, we can create team-specific materials to take our performance to the next level,” said performance manager Mathieu Heijboer on Thursday.
The team will also switch to Nimbl for footwear and to Oakley for glasses, officials confirmed Thursday.
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The team said it expects to be able to innovate and perform at a higher level with the high-profile move to SRAM.
The confirmation of the new material partners comes on the heels of the arrival of new sponsors, including BetCity, a large Dutch online betting platform that will join as a team partner through 2025.
Officials revealed that testing of SRAM materials began earlier in 2022, and several of the team mechanics were involved in the decision-making process.
“Apart from Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos, the majority of the Team Jumbo-Visma athletes don’t yet have any experience with SRAM,” Heijboer said. “That holds true for the mechanics as well. As a result, the changeover will receive a lot of attention in the near future.”
The move is big news for SRAM, which supported Movistar and Trek-Segafredo in 2022. Dutch media reported that former supplier Shimano did not match an offer made by SRAM to take over as the components partner.
“The technicians will be in touch with Jenco [Drost, head of performance equipment], and I will concentrate on the riders. It’s crucial that they ride the bike with as minimal alteration in posture as possible.
“Since the brake levers are being changed, we are adding a new contact point to the handlebars. Additionally, the shifting will soon change,” Heijboer said. “You could believe these are insignificant details, but the riders will notice them. We will provide them with appropriate guidance to avoid injuries.”
From 1 January, we will be working with innovative new material partners!⚙️ @SRAMroad will be the supplier of our groupsets and all riders will use Reserve wheels next year. Nimbl is going to supply our shoes and @oakley the glasses.
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) December 22, 2022
In another key change, the men’s team will switch to Reserve wheels, which were already being used on the women’s and development squads in 2022.
“Several wind tunnel sessions have shown that the Reserve wheels are exceptionally aerodynamic,” Drost said. “They are especially developed for our Cervélo bikes and in close cooperation with Cervélo engineers. This ensures that the ‘system’ is perfectly correct, which is the essence of our material philosophy.”
Nimbl comes as a new shoe partner, with the team citing stiffness and aerodynamics. The handmade shoes are created in Italy and are some of the lightest available, officials said.
Speedplay will be a supplier of the pedals starting in the new year, while glasses will be supplied by Oakley.
That’s a lot of change, but general manager Richard Plugge said the team is committed to continual evolution and improvement.
“To perform at the highest level, all factors have to be optimal,” Plugge said. “In terms of material, we are ready for the next step in our development. Together with SRAM, we can take this step.”
Rebuilding the team’s fleet of bikes
Work behind the scenes began months ago and the enormous material makeover began in October.
Right now, more than 20 team mechanics and technical staff are putting the finishing touches on the bike rebuilds that began across the fleet of 180 bikes on the squad’s men’s, women’s, and development teams for 2023.
That includes racing, time trial, and training bikes for 60 athletes. SRAM officials joined team mechanics at the Team Jumbo-Visma Service Course in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.
“Dismantling a bike is done in less than an hour,” Drost said. “But building up takes much longer. We have been working non-stop on that since the end of October to ensure that every racer had access to at least one adapted bike during the training camps in December.”
The pressure will be on for the team during the season’s first races to prove that the new material can deliver the results that everyone inside the organization is expecting.
“It may take some time before everyone is fully familiar with the new materials”, Drost said. “That is a matter of time. I expect to soon see positive results from this switch.”