The Red Devils boss had a hand in the Denmark cyclist’s victory this year
Erik ten Hag has endured a hectic summer. Not only has the Dutch coach moved country to take over as Manchester United boss to commence the mammoth task of rebuilding the Premier League team and had to juggle the issue of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Indeed, the 52-year-old has even had a role in the outcome of the Tour de France.
Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France this year, coming in ahead of defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas, who finished third.
It is the Jumbo-Visma cyclist’s first Tour de France victory and it was a long time in the making, with preparations beginning some time ago.
After a big failure in the 2021 Tour, Jumbo-Visma went back to the drawing board and technical director Merijn Zeeman has revealed Ten Hag’s influence in building a successful team.
“Someone who has helped me a lot is Erik ten Hag,” Zeeman said.
“Someone from a completely different sport, but I wanted to understand from him: how do you come up with tactics? What is the essence of your sport for you? Before you make a game plan, what’s behind that? I’ve had the opportunity to talk to him about that a number of times.”
He is here 💛🇩🇰#letourdk #TDF2022 pic.twitter.com/msmAhYOzRo
Thanks in part to Ten Hag’s guidance, Jumbo-Visma began to think outside the box and went on to carve out a master plan for this year’s race.
“We also asked guys who collect the data in the background to think along. With central questions such as: what can we do better, what are we not doing well, what are our competitors doing? We held a lot of sessions. All in the winter,” Zeeman added.
“Because with great talents such as Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic, Jonas Vingegaard and Steven Kruijswijk in your team, you can also come up with different tactics.
“Just as good football coaches have good football players at their disposal with whom they can win matches, we can also make plans because you have good riders at your disposal.”