Richard Plugge of Team Jumbo Visma made headlines the other day as he criticised a French team for, in his opinion, ‘relaxing’ a little too much on the last rest day of the recent Tour.
“We look around us to see what the others do. For example, we were with a French team in our hotel on the rest day. We could see the riders drinking large beers,” Plugge said.
The Visma CEO’s comments came about as he stressed how vigilant his organisation is at keeping up to the standards demanded of a pro cycling team. I mean sure, ok, but why pick on another team anyway? He went on, actually, not yet satiated by the first comment…
“Alcohol is poison, and when you are already tired, it’ll make you even more fatigued. At the start of the last week of the Tour, which is the most important, you have to be careful what you eat and drink. In our team nobody drinks alcohol, because that breaks you and even those who aren’t riders shouldn’t drink it. We open our doors, answer all the questions, but you have to look at the other side as well. Because that explains part of the differences, not only in our favour, but also against the others.”
The only French team in the same hotel as JV was Madiot’s, and he wasn’t too happy with the criticism.
“That’s it, stop! On every rest day, we have a moment of conviviality between my riders and the management. The management drinks a beer, not necessarily the riders. And even if they had drunk one, it wouldn’t have been fifty centilitres. I was at the table, there were Perrier waters,” he said.
“It’s shabby, small and shabby. It’s a shame. Who does he think he is? I have my nutritionist next door, he can talk to you about what we do within the team. Frankly, it’s an exceptionally base attack on his part.
“He can shut his mouth. I don’t intend to meet him, I don’t give a f***. I’m not going to lower myself to go see him. I’m angry, it’s pathetic.”
Love it. He went one further too, by having a beer outside the JV bus in Paris, holding up a sign to boot.
Meanwhile, Visma celebrated an impressive win by trying to understand a book of knock-knock jokes and sipping on zero percent Heineken… say no more.