Update: Jumbo Visma to Join World Cup XC Circuit with Milan Vader

Sep 24, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Milan Vader has signed a 3 year deal with road cycling giants Jumobo Visma.

The 25-year-old Dutch rider will be the first mountain bike rider for the team and has a long term goal of picking up a medal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. He will combine stints of road racing with mountain bike races with particular focus on World Cups and the World Championships.

Vader is looking forward to the time ahead. “It’s cool to ride for Team Jumbo-Visma. In my opinion it is the leading team of this moment. It is nice that it is a Dutch team. Therefore it feels a bit like coming home. We have talked about the path for the coming years. Racing on the road is relatively new for me. I used to race on the road, but not very much. I am very much looking forward to it. The team has a lot of knowledge and experience, so it will be good. I like that everything is focused on performance at Team Jumbo-Visma. I expect to learn a lot and to develop myself as an athlete. A big goal will be the Olympic Games in Paris. I hope to win a medal on the mountain bike. Team Jumbo-Visma is the perfect option to help me with that.”

Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma, is happy with the arrival of Vader. “It is an interesting project and it has already been a great journey. For years, Milan has been coached by Tim Heemskerk, one of our performance coaches. That is why we have been in touch more intensively. He has been on a training camp with us and he has done a number of physical and personality tests. We got to know him really well. We see a lot of potential in him. He is physically extremely talented. He is technically very good on the bike. Also, his personality appeals to us very much. Milan is someone who is very willing to invest in himself and can work well together.”

“We think his qualities lie in up to and including the middle mountains”, Zeeman continued. “He is explosive uphill. In such a race program we want to teach him things. How quickly does he pick it up, riding in a peloton, a World Tour peloton? That is something that we still have to see. We are also going to look at the World Cup calendar in mountain biking and the championships that go with it. And how we are going to find a good variation in it.”

Jumbo Visma's frame sponsor, Cervelo, currently does not make a mountain bike but we expect Milan to be running a setup from another Pon group brand such as Santa Cruz or Focus.



Original article:

Milan Vader is reported to have signed with road cycling WorldTeam Jumbo Visma for 2022 according to a report by Wielerflits.

Jumbo Visma is one of the most successful road cycling teams of recent years and this year its riders have won the Vuelta a Espana, collected Olympic medals and finished second at the Tour de France. Vader apparently joined the team on its training camp in Alicante last year and has had ambitions to race on the road, "for some time," according to the Dutch website.

If Vader has signed with the Dutch team, Wielerflits is reporting that he will still be racing on dirt as well as tarmac. Following in the footsteps of Van der Poel and Pidcock, he will most likely do blocks of mountain bike races mainly targeting World Cups and the World Championships interspersed with blocks of road racing. This will be Jumbo Visma's first foray into mountain biking and further proof of the rising stock of cross country racing. Following the Olympics and the crossover success of Van Der Poel and Pidcock, XC mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular with road cyclists so the introduction of another large team to the sport will only help its exposure and reach. Jumbo Visma's frame sponsor, Cervelo, doesn't currently make a mountain bike so it will be interesting to see if Vader will be able to pick and choose his own package should the reports of his transfer turn out to be true.

We have contacted Vader for more information and he told us to expect more news about his situation soon.


64 Comments

  • 106 2
 His dad Darth Vader must be proud
  • 40 0
 "If once you start down the dark path **cough, cough..road racing**, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will." -Yoda
  • 11 1
 Vader is the Dutch word for father, so maybe he's Darth's father? I am confused now.
  • 1 2
 @jeroenk: en wat betekent "Merijn"? Die naam heb ik nog nooit gehoord (ben sinds 25j weg uit NL)
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: Merijn means nothing specific, like John. But Zeeman is sailor.
  • 3 0
 It was his destiny.
  • 2 0
 @kyytaM: he so needs to buy a castle/land in the uk with an associated lordship: Lord Vader becomes real Smile
  • 72 2
 You put up a black and white photo of a current rider, with their name in front of it. My first impression is they died. Colour photos = alive. Black and white = dead/caught doping.
  • 2 0
 Smurthwaite only sees black and white!
  • 2 0
 this is what I immediately thought when I saw the image; happy its quite the opposite.
  • 23 0
 @SATN-XC: he is entering road cycling, so perhaps the B&W is a reference to the impending doping.
  • 3 0
 I had definitely assumed doping first.
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 2 0
 I had the exact same thought...
  • 2 0
 Black and white could also mean he's on the "wanted, dead or alive" poster.
  • 11 0
 Can't have inherited his father's breathing difficulties.
  • 6 0
 Not entirely a bad thing. He could get exceptional TUEs for such a condition
  • 7 0
 Fingers crossed that Sepp Kuss will make a cross over ride and do a world cup with his new Jumbo teammate. Would be cool to have a 1-2 finish for the Durango boys - Blevins and Kuss
  • 1 0
 He has to get some UCI points first to race a WC.
  • 7 0
 I bet he will show up on either a Santa Cruz or Focus bike since they are owned by the same company that owns Cervelo.
  • 26 1
 Or may the GT force be with him .. or not. Haha
  • 1 0
 Probably not a Focus unless they re-introduce an XC bike.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: Probably not Focus, but maybe they will introduce an XC full suspension bike to go along with the XC hardtail they currently offer.
  • 1 0
 On the road he'll just ride a decent old Gazelle with rack and bottle dynamo.
  • 3 0
 Would have thought it is more likely he’ll focus on road with the odd foray onto dirt rather than Jumbo Visma coming into mtb

Look at Piddock, it wasn’t really the Ineos team coming into mtb, rather them recognising the value of having a potential Olympic cycling champion on the team.
  • 4 0
 Sure, but Pidcock did loads of CX races too, as did Wout van Aert. With these guys and MvdP there is a bunch of jacks of all trades in cycling now, and with them, the lines are not as clear cut anymore. Luckily! There's time to divide between a lot of cycling events of different types and it seems that, combined with the ambitions of the riders and carefully planned, quite short resting periods, seems to be what influences planning, not a ranking of cycling disciplines a team has.
  • 2 0
 @jeroenk: I think Vader's success in mtb depends on his history on the winter drop-bar knobblies. The top multi-disciplinary riders (Pidcock, WvA, MvdP and PFP) all found early success in CX before hitting XC and the tarmac. Otherwise he'll likely end up mediocre (by elite athlete standards) in one or the other formats
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: I dunno how you come up with that logic. I can think of countless examples who disprove that idea. Nino and Vos to name two.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: Vos rides CX and road, and Nino dominates XC. There's no-one in the current roster that comes to mind who excels in XC and road without at least a few good results in CX.
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: Did Sagan ever ride cx? If I remember he did quite well in XC when he was younger
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: I don’t think I understand what you’re saying? If you don’t do cross at a young age you’ll never be a top road or XCO racer?
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: Without CX, riders are unlikely to be top in both Road and XC
  • 2 0
 @ROOTminus1: Oh right. Reading comprehension fail. I don’t think Cadel Evans did a lot of cross in OZ.
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: I think you’ve got causation backwards. Anyone with the tactical sense of road, technical skill of XC, and power of both will almost inevitably succeed at CX. And chances are they will give it a go to find that success at some point, because why not? It doesn’t really make sense that CX would be a necessary part of transitioning from one to the other if you have those skills, nor does it make sense that it would be a requirement to gain one of them that was lacking.
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: Correct and most of those skills come from riding a bike from a very young age. Often BMX. I don't know about other counties, but if you look at how youth cycling is organised in the Netherlands and Belgium, it's very much based on creating a very broad skillset in a playful way. Focus on fitness only gradually comes in, with endurance training only starting at age 15-16.
  • 7 0
 Came expecting Darth Vader references, was not disappointed
  • 14 0
 I can only see one so far. I find the lack of them disturbing...
  • 4 0
 Also, Victor Koretzky signed with KTM, and will race on road too. More money I guess, but might not be so good for their MTB careers. By the way, it means the two best Orbea riders leaving the team...
  • 3 0
 KMC Orbea won't let go of Koretzky without a fight. This from their Twitter feed

"We take note of the announcement made September 13th by the B&B Hotels p/b Ktm road cycling team of the recruitment of Victor Koretzky for the 2022 season.
Victor Koretzky is under contract with the KMC ORBEA team until December 31st, 2022.
This contract stipulates the decision-making power of Team KMC ORBEA over the cycling racing program of Victor Koretzky within the institutional framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale".
  • 1 0
 @steelarm: Wout Van Aert also had a contract with another team for cyclocross...
  • 2 0
 Good for Vader. I’d agree with him that they seem to be the best road team at the moment. With access to all that expertise and the impact of road racing/ training camps you’d hope he can improve his already v strong engine. Riding the new Santa Cruz blur should be competitive too.

I wonder if it may also persuade Wout Van Aert onto a MTB also. I’d love to see him up against MVdP and Piddcock. Maybe he’ll persuaded by how much fun the races look and publicity rather than money?
  • 2 0
 I doubt we'll see him on a MTB; all his success in CX has been down to his power; compared to MvdP & Pidcock, his technical skills are quite a bit inferior. Being good in CX is different from being good in MTB; it's a big jump.
  • 3 0
 He is the first one? Does that make Vader the father? Can they get Luke signed as well?
  • 2 0
 Luke is already on the dark side with Pidcock.
  • 4 0
 I just hope they let Sepp Kuss go for the TDF win by at least 2025.
  • 1 0
 Can't blame those to add road to their schedule; more money, that is what it comes down to, but when they don't show up to XCO races, it sucks for the fans, makes the field less competitive
  • 3 0
 Sepp Kuss gonna pull up for a few races?
  • 2 0
 Sorry I think you mean big speed skating team not road team.
  • 1 0
 Jumbo is just a supermarket. The support a road team, a speed skating team, even a dude who dabbles in F1 car racing.
  • 2 0
 Bart Brentjens already spilled the beans on RB TV
  • 2 0
 Dont give into the dark side of road cycling. Trust your feelings.
  • 2 0
 At first I read the title as jumbo shrimp
  • 1 0
 Pb, please interview this guy. Ask him if he reads the comments and what he thinks of them
  • 2 1
 Vader to road, Roglič to XCO (:
  • 8 0
 Hell no, I wouldn't recommend Primoz riding XCO, considering the number of crash he's been involved in
  • 1 0
 C'mon James, you're just making up funny names for this one.
  • 3 0
 Naples Skywalker signed with Mega Oracle, too
  • 5 4
 I havent heard of either of these.
  • 4 0
 Came here for the who is Milan Vader comments, was almost disappointed.
  • 1 0
 Sepp Kuss XC MTB
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