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.
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.