In a whirlwind of team reshuffles in the cycling world, Jumbo-Visma's Jan Tratnik has asserted his intention to stay on board for the 2024 season, even in light of his fellow Slovenian, Primož Roglič's upcoming exit and the brewing merger/take-over between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal-QuickStep.
Anticipation surrounds the future formation of this cycling 'mega-team.' While most Jumbo-Visma riders under 2024 contracts will likely remain the backbone, around six riders from Soudal-QuickStep might also join the lineup. Yet, the big question mark hovers over Remco Evenepoel's spot in 2024. If the merger finalizes, nullifying his current contract, juggernauts like the new team and Ineos Grenadiers are keenly positioned to secure him.
Roglič's Saturday revelation that he'll part ways with Jumbo-Visma a year before his contract concludes has caught attention. It's speculated that Bora-Hansgrohe or Ineos Grenadiers could be his next homes, especially as he seeks another Tour de France title. Fans and followers await his next move, with Roglič hinting at disclosing his 2024 team affiliation post this season, culminating at Il Lombardia, marking the end of his eight-year alliance with Jumbo-Visma.
Tratnik's Loyalty Amidst Team Changes
Upon being probed about his allegiance, especially with the departure of Roglič, Tratnik clarified to Eurosport at Italy's Tre Valli Varesine race, "For me [it changes] nothing, I still have a contract with Jumbo-Visma. While our camaraderie is one aspect, professional decisions are another. I respect his choice and wish him well, but for me, the equation remains unchanged."
Having seamlessly transitioned from Bahrain Victorious, Tratnik's Jumbo-Visma stint has been noteworthy. Although an unfortunate crash kept him from supporting the eventual Giro d’Italia winner Roglic, he made a remarkable comeback during the Vuelta a España, contributing to Jumbo-Visma's sweep.
Recent victories include supporting Roglič at the Giro dell’Emilia and securing ninth at the Coppa Bernocchi. While both raced at Tre Valli Varesine, Tratnik emphasizes that the limelight this week remains firmly on Roglič's pursuit at Il Lombardia, saying, "Our primary gaze is fixated on Lombardia, and we'll give it our best shot."