Bob Jungels targets Tour de France super domestique role for Primož Roglič

Luxembourg rider will mix Classics and stage races for Bora-Hansgrohe this spring

Clock15:07, Tuesday 20th February 2024
Bob Jungels is currently in action at the Volta ao Algarve

© Dario Belingheri / Velo Collection via Getty Images

Bob Jungels is currently in action at the Volta ao Algarve

He wasn’t among the names doing the rounds back in December when Bora-Hansgrohe’s provisional Tour de France team was first mentioned in the press, but Bob Jungels is determined to make the race a focal point of his season and support Primož Roglič’s GC challenge.

The 31-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of this year, is currently racing at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal but before the final stage he spoke to GCN about his form, working for Roglič, and plans beyond next year.

“It’s been a pretty good start to the year. I had a good winter, which was decent, and then the first mountain top finish here was also good. In the time trial on stage 4, I had good numbers, but it wasn’t the result that I’d hoped for [24th, ed.]. I’m happy with how things are going, and the most important thing now is just staying healthy,” he told GCN.

After Algarve, the Luxembourg rider heads to Opening Weekend in Belgium where he will race both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne. He won the latter race back in 2019 and will likely share leadership with Nico Denz before a push towards the Ardennes Classics in April.

Then he hopes to focus on the Tour de France where Bora-Hansgrohe will centre their attention on new team leader Primož Roglič. At this point, every single rider on the German team must have been asked their thoughts on Roglič’s arrival and what it means but the transfer from Jumbo has been a genuine game-changer for Bora and every rider within the squad. The lucky seven who are chosen to race the Tour alongside the Slovenian will have a defined purpose come July, while those targeting other races will still cross paths with the 2023 Giro winner at some point during the season.

Read more: Danny van Poppel ready for Primož Roglič bodyguard role in Tour de France

“I’ve got Opening Weekend next week, Paris-Nice and then we have to see if I’ll do a couple more Classics but then Basque Country and the Ardennes, for sure. At the moment, it looks like I’ll do the Tour de France,” Jungels said.

“With Primož, it’s going to be quite exciting, and I’ll be at a couple of races with him before the Tour. So hopefully I can convince him to take me to the Tour,” he said with a broad smile.

“We have big plans for this year, so it’s going to be important to have a solid team around him. I’ll try to be part of that. At Opening Weekend, I’ll be a leader or co-leader. We have Nico Denz as well. He was sick but he’s going strong now. If I can find the confidence from say 2019, that would be good.”

Read more: Red Bull takeover of Bora-Hansgrohe confirmed by Austrian FCA

Jungels has raced for some of the biggest teams in the world during his long and successful career in the pro ranks. His contract at Bora is up for renewal at the end of the year and the likely scenario is that both rider and team sit down during the spring to extend the deal. He may not have generated major results in 2023 but he was still relied upon in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. At his best, he’s one of the classiest all-rounders in the world, and when he’s not at his best he’s still a reliable domestique.

“Obviously it’s a contract year but I’m very happy where I am right now. I would be happy to stay here for a couple of years but we’ll see. The future looks quite promising here with the team, with the new partner now, so it’s going to be exciting. I hope to be part of it.”

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