Swimming coach Verhaeren dips toe into cycling world with Jumbo-Visma

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Swimming coach Verhaeren dips toe into cycling world with Jumbo-Visma
Primoz Roglic won the Giro D'Italia in May for Jumbo-Visma
Primoz Roglic won the Giro D'Italia in May for Jumbo-Visma
Reuters
Dominant Dutch cycling team Jumbo-Visma aim to stay at the front of the peloton next season with the help of an unlikely addition to their coaching set-up - swimming guru Jacco Verhaeren (54).

Jumbo-Visma riders won all three Grand Tours this year with Primoz Roglic (Giro d'Italia), Jonas Vingegaard (Tour de France) and Sepp Kuss (Vuelta a Espana) - the first time any professional team had swept the board.

But they are not resting on their laurels and Verhaeren - who helped the likes of Dutch greats Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn to multiple Olympic golds in the pool - is coming on board to provide advice and support.

"Over the past few years, I have often exchanged ideas with Jacco", Jumbo-Visma sporting director Merijn Zeeman said in a statement announcing the unusual collaboration.

"After our best season, we have to keep looking for improvements and new insights. Together with (head of performance) Mathieu Heijboer, I have come to the conclusion that Jacco can provide us with these new ideas and different insights from another sport.

"We will start with a modest collaboration and hopefully develop it into something more."

Verhaeren's focus will remain on his work with the French swimming federation and preparations for the Paris Olympics, but the 54-year-old is a big advocate of cross-fertilisation of different sports and believes his time with the Jumbo-Visma performance boffins will be mutually beneficial.

"I want to get to know cycling better and will provide my input on performance processes and training, among other things," he said, adding that he can also take valuable information back to the swimming environment.

"I like to immerse myself in Team Jumbo-Visma's approach because I can benefit from it. The link between equipment, nutrition, training and race strategy is fascinating. It inspires me a lot," Verhaeren said.

"What Jumbo-Visma does with my advice is up to them."

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