Visma-Lease a Bike’s new sensation to debut at Giro del Belvedere: here comes Jørgen Nordhagen

Expectations over the 19-year old Norwegian talent, Cross Country Skiing Junior World Champion, have been growing since months: on April 1st in Villa di Cordignano (Italy) it’s finally time to see him at work in the U23 category with the Dutch juggernaut, that hopes to defend last year’s success in the Easter Monday Classic

The time for Jørgen Nordhagen’s debut in a Visma-Lease a Bike Development Team jersey has finally arrived. The 19-year old Norwegian, will have his first official start in the U23 category on April 1st in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, North-East Italy), for the 85th edition of Giro del Belvedere.

As it often happens in this generation of early-rising, multifaceted talents, the new rider of the Dutch Team is a real artist of the multidiscipline. Indeed, less than two months ago, on February 7th in Slovenia, he became Junior World Champion in Cross-Country Skiing on the 20 km mass start.

However, his career on the snow is now over, and the black and yellow Bees have great plans for his cycling future, as witnessed by a contract until 2027 and the step to the Pro peloton already scheduled for 2025.

Stop skiing at high level was already the plan for a while – argued Nordhagen -, and I ended this chapter by becoming World Champion. That’s the best I could hope for, and now I can’t wait to start on a bike in the new category. I grew up watching Tour de France, so it would be a dream to compete for that in the future, but let’s take it one step at a time. Among the guys participating at Belvedere, I’m the only one who hasn’t had his debut yet, so this is my first focus.”

This long-awaited debut is scheduled for Monday, April 1st, in one of the historical classics of the U23 category, Giro del Belvedere. Team Visma-Lease a Bike is the reigning champion thanks to a fellow Norwegian, Johannes Staune-Mittet, and last year it was able to place no less than three riders in the top-5.

I heard from my teammates that it is a hard race, and it will be tough. That’s what I like, I think it is a race that suits me well. From a first glimpse of the route, it seems really interesting: in the first half it will be about fighting for the breakaway and the right positioning at the top of the bunch, and in the second part we will have to fire up the race. My teammates and the sport directors have a lot of experience about this, and I fully trust them”, added Nordhagen.

On what his role in the course will be, that remains to be seen: “First of all, I’m curious about myself at this level. And second, the team is very strong with all of us able to go for the win if the chance is there. Darren (Van Bekkum, ed) and Menno (Huising, ed) started the season strong, and they can go for the title. Our Italian Dario Belletta is also there for the fight, he told me that racing in Italy is hard and hectic, and I can’t wait to see it myself. If the team will tell me to go solo for the win I’ll do it, if I’ll have to be in the breakaway for a teammate, I will be there as well.”

Sure thing is that the strong Dutch squad will be on the forefront to repeat the great result of last year’s edition. Among the main contenders on the 168 km and 2085 metres of elevation gain route, will be other World Tour Development Teams such as Astana, Jayco AlUla, EF and UAE, while Italian hopes are mainly on the shoulders of VF Group Bardiani CSF Faizané, Zalf Euromobil Fior and MBH Bank Colpack Ballan. Lotto Kern-Haus PSD Bank will not be at the start due to the many injuries, and it will be replaced by Petrolike, another Continental Team, from Mexico.

2024-03-29T11:01:28+01:0029 March 2024|