Tiesj Benoot finds “a nightmare” “a heavy expression” to describe his divorce from DSM. “I am especially happy to be here. I get energy and look forward to next season”, Benoot concludes the story.
The East Fleming screened with interest from other teams and does not deny that he doubted and thought, but according to Benoot Jumbo-Visma is “the right choice”.
However, it is said left and right that Benoot will mainly have to drive in a serving role. “I am not a winner, I already knew that as a freshman. But in this team, where you almost always have the top favorite with Wout van Aert, I can do my best.”
“I realize that I will have fewer opportunities than before, because last year I was almost always the leader. But to win big races it can be an advantage to race with Wout.”
“Not many riders want to go to the finish with him and I have to rely on an attack. Then it is better not to have to ride against Wout. We agree well. I don’t expect any problems.”
“Jumbo-Visma also wants to race differently, so that Wout doesn’t always have to straighten things out. That was also important to me, being able to apply a tactic such as Quick Step with the best leader.”
But have concrete opportunities been discussed in the negotiations with Jumbo-Visma?
“It is not that I now sign to empty every race from the start. I am professional enough to know that that is sometimes the case. Think of Ghent-Wevelgem: if Wout is there, then it is obviously you’re going for a sprint.”
“But there are other races where Quick Step has already proven that you can play out the width. That is also the reason why Wout did not always win even though he was the strongest. He often reacted himself at 70 km from the finish and you pay that in the final.”
Benoot is initially aiming for the classics, but don’t forget the stage races of a week. “I’m certainly not saying no, but I’ll be here for the spring first. I’m racing the classics at Sanremo and Roubaix.”
And what about the Tour? Benoot is not sure yet. “But I definitely want to ride there. Everyone wants to be a part of this story and you feel it’s alive.”