Tour de France - Joris Nieuwenhuis: Maybe there's a chance for me too
Jun 26 2021 06:35 am CET

Tour de France - Joris Nieuwenhuis: Maybe there's a chance for me too
Tour de France - Joris Nieuwenhuis: Maybe there's a chance for me too
Photo of Joris Nieuwenhuis © Team DSM | Vincent Riemersma | Keep Challenging

Joris Nieuwenhuis (Team DSM) is starting in the Tour de France for the second time, and he and his team are ready for everything the race will bring.

By: Maritza Cárdenas

The Dutchman will be at the start line in Brest being part of a versatile roster that will fight for stage victories, and he doesn't even rule out taking chances for himself if they arise. But for the two first days of competition, he knows which riders have the better chances in his team and in the peloton.

"I'm feeling pretty good, we just did a ride," said Nieuwenhuis hours before the start of the French race. "One and a half hour in the rain, so I already know what Bretagne is like (laughs). But I'm looking forward to it.

"Yesterday we did the recon of the climb of the first day and it is a pretty hard climb. Some weeks ago I also did the 'Boucles de la Mayenne' and there we did the recon of the TT and we also did stage 4. So we did quite some recons. Also in the area of Andorra."

The first two stages of the Tour de France will feature hilly courses suitable for puncheurs -the second day features two climbs of the Mûr de Bretagne- and he and his team are ready for them. "I have never done the Mûr de Bretagne but I've looked at the stage and it seems super tough," he affirmed. "So you don't really have to underestimate it. But first we have tomorrow and I'm curious how it will be in the bunch. I think tomorrow will suit Tiesj [Benoot] pretty well, it's going to be hard the whole day, so it will be good for him. Maybe for Soren [Kragh Andersen] as well if he has a good day. And we will have to protect them until the finish. Tiesj likes it, when it is hard from the start, it is good for him."

Just before the start of the race, Nieuwenhuis knows what his part will be like in the next three weeks. "I will have a role like last year, in the lead-out for Cees [Bol] most of the time but also trying to put Tiesj in a good position the whole day and getting the bottles and all that kind of stuff.

"If there are some stages that suit me I can try for sure. You never know, you also saw in the Giro that quite a lot of riders that had never won a stage in a grand tour did it there. I think that's also something that will continue over this Tour, because you see that the GC guys don't want to control the whole race, they learned from last year. And maybe there's a chance for me too. You never know.

"I don't think that Jumbo will control the whole race like they did last year. I think that will change some things and also Ineos isn't going to be the only team that is very strong like they were before, so they won't try to control the race either. I think it will be different."

This edition of the race will have more public than in 2020 and this is important for the rider. "I prefer to race with public, it gives a different vibe to the race. Last year there were some climbs in which there was no public and everything was very quiet, and you can hear yourself suffering, so I prefer with public."

Nieuwenhuis finished in the 24th position in the Dutch championships, but a lot of the time he was close to Mathieu van der Poel, another of the favourites to take the first Yellow Jersey. "I was feeling pretty good during the day, I was a bit too fixated on Mathieu van der Poel, every time he moved I went after him, trying to follow him," he explained. "In the end, Jumbo had too many guys there so they really tried to make him tired and they also made me tired so maybe it wasn't my best race tactic. At least I felt really good and that also gave me confidence. Next year I will choose a different tactic.

"Van der Poel is the best rider of our country and actually also in the world. I mean, he's a special guy and also for tomorrow I truly think he has the biggest chance there. Wout [van Aert] was really downplaying it for the media, but when you see him winning the nationals again, then you can assume that he's in at good level already."





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