Episode 3 - Bob Jungels' transition to the cobblestones
Updated: May 1, 2020
At the Omloop het Nieuwsblad press conference of Deceuninck – Quick.Step, we spoke to one of the most talented and versatile riders of the young peloton. In Paris-Roubaix U23 of 2012, Bob Jungels (°1992) won with an advantage of almost three minutes on Yves Lampaert. Last year, he won the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He has also worn the pink jersey and finished sixth and eighth in the GC of the Giro D’Italia. Has he decided yet on what his specialty is? We asked him.
You have won Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but as an U23 rider you have also won on the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix. Have you already made up your mind about what to focus on in the future?
“Of course that's not easy when you're a versatile rider. You have to make choices, because it won’t work out if you participate in too many races. I took a decision to focus on the Ardennes quite early in my career, and was soon aware I had potential as a grand tour rider. Some years it goes better than others. But I take every race as an opportunity, and that’s what I did at the Tour de France last year. [he finished eleventh in the GC last year] Then last year already, I spoke to the team about my plans to try the cobble classics.”
Did you gain weight to ride the cobble classics?
“To be honest, I didn’t gain weight for it. I didn’t change my preparation. I think the Tour of Flanders is a race that comes very close to the Ardennes classics. Maybe the climbs are a bit more explosive. But the thing you need on the cobbles is power, and I think the power is there.”
Doing those cobblestone classics, are you still going to be in your best shape to defend your title at Liège-Bastogne-Liège a few weeks after the Tour of Flanders?
“Actually, I’m not sure if I’ll ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year.”
Wow. [Your editor remains speechless – Ed.]
Now, who are your friends in the peloton, not counting your teammates of Deceuninck Quick Step?
“Actually, Geraint Thomas is a good friend of mine. Also my ex-teammates of the Trek-Segafredo Team and my fellow countrymen of Luxemburg: Jempy Drücker is one of my best friends.”