Bob Jungels leaves abaft a actual awash Deceuninck-Quick-Step aggregation to accompany a wide-open Ag2r-Citroën band for 2021.
At the Belgian squad, he was lined up abaft a slate of superstars in aloof about every chase he would appetite to contest. In contrast, the French WorldTour aggregation is in rebuilding mode, and one of the key blocks for the aggregation will be the 28-year-old Luxembourg all-rounder.
“I was attractive for an befalling to be a baton on assertive races. My ambitions are consistently absolutely high,” Jungels said Tuesday. “I feel added like a baton here. They absent Romain [Bardet] and [Pierre] Latour. They were the leaders the aftermost brace of years here, and they were attractive for addition to alter them. I am added than blessed to booty that role.”
Jungels could apprehend the autograph on the bank at Quick-Step, area riders like Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel are aboriginal in line. The accession of BMC bikes, as able-bodied as new co-sponsor Citroën additionally helped argue Jungels to accompany on a two-year accord with the long-running French team.
“I feel added like a baton here,” he told reporters in a video call. “Also because there are beneath riders actuality for the moment that accept won the aforementioned contest that I accept won.”
Entering his ninth division as a WorldTour-level pro, Jungels knows what he’s acceptable at and what he wants to do. Appropriate now, that agency targeting one-week date contest and the Ardennes classics. He’s penciled in Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya as early-season targets afore diving abrupt into the arresting arctic abstract of Belgium and the Netherlands.
His awful able circuit into the cobblestoned abstract is on hold, at atomic for the short-term. In 2019, he skipped the Ardennes and lit up the arctic abstract instead, acceptable Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, hitting the belvedere with third at Dwars aperture Vlaanderen, and advancing during the Bout of Flanders.
Right now, he won’t acknowledgment to Flanders but said he’d accession his duke after this bounce if the aggregation needs him.
“It’s consistently nice to apperceive if you can do it. I accept the adeptness to accomplish able-bodied in Flanders classic,” he said. “I absolutely appetite to attempt one day afresh in Flanders. If the aggregation needs me for the arctic classics, of course, I will go. The aggregation actuality has a actual solid for the bounce classics.
“Two years ago, I did too much, with the Flemish abstract and again the Giro,” he continued. “Planning-wise, it’s abundant easier to accept a solid agenda and not do too abounding races. The admixture of GC in date contest and the Ardennes is added analytic appropriate now than the Flemish classics.”
Jungels, alert in the top-10 overall, still has not accustomed up on block admirable tours. He admits he would charge a advance arranged with time trials and one ablaze on aggressive kilometers to accept absolute opportunities for a admirable bout podium. Instead, he will put a big focus on aggravating to beating off some of the important one-week date contest on the WorldTour calendar.
For 2021, he will use the Bout de France as a aerodrome for the Olympic Games. Luxembourg has yet to authorize a atom for the time trial, acceptation that Jungels will alone accept a adventitious at a badge in Tokyo.
Like anybody abroad in the peloton, he’s acquisitive that the antagonism division can disentangle after too abounding disruptions acquired by the coronavirus pandemic.
Jungels is at a aggregation affected in Spain afore branch to an distance assignment in Spain’s Sierra Nevada afore debuting at Ruta del Sol in February. Or at atomic that’s what he’s acquisitive for.
“It’s a actual aberrant feeling, to be honest,” Jungels said. “The activity is the same, like afore the aboriginal lockdown aftermost year. Anybody is advancing as if contest would alpha soon, and we achievement that contest will alpha soon. Anybody would be blessed if we accept a added or beneath accustomed season. If it’s astute or not, that’s addition question. It’s a actual ambagious and difficult time now for riders and teams.”
Ruta del Sol
Volta a Catalunya
Ardennes abstract (Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège)
Critérium due Dauphiné or Bout de Suisse
Tour de France
Sol Pierre – sol pierre
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