The festive season is upon us, and Jumbo-Visma superfans the world over are grappling with what memorabilia to put on their list for Santa. Perhaps they want a GC Kuss t-shirt, or a copy of the team’s Officially Licensed Children’s Book, Look, I can do it, a 12-page cycling manifesto about ‘the power of dreams.’ Perhaps they want to pounce on a kilo of ‘Racing Wasps’ coffee beans, complete with a ‘slightly powerful’ aroma. Maybe a pair of gloves celebrating Jumbo-Visma’s historic sweep of Grand Tour victories with three different riders.
Those are fine gifts – maybe even good gifts – but as of this week, there are better. In collaboration with the football memorabilia website Match Worn Shirt, Jumbo-Visma is selling its fleet of Tour de France team bikes.
Now, teams and riders sell off old-season bikes (and kit) all the time. EF Education-Easypost have done an annual bike sale for years, and I’m still kicking myself for not buying a Men in Glaz seagull soft-toy before the website disappeared into a puff of smoke. But there’s a key difference here: this feels less like a clearout of stuff lying around the service course (although it is that, too), and more an opportunity to buy articles of legitimate sporting significance – something that seems to have really taken off this year, with Thibaut Pinot and Tadej Pogačar also getting in on the act on other sales platforms.
Neither of those guys won the 2023 Tour de France, though, unlike a certain boy prince. Currently for sale: the two 51 cm-sized bikes that Jonas Vingegaard used to win his second Tour – at first in a tensely fought battle with Tadej Pogačar, and then in crushing fashion.
There’s a Cervelo S5 in the glossy, constellation-covered Tour de France special-edition paintjob the team used for that race, still with Vingegaard’s name sticker at the base of the seat-tube. There are little scratches at the base of the fork from when the mechanics have had the front wheel off, along with marks in the clearcoat on the chainstay and crank. This is currently the most lucrative of the Jumbo-Visma fleet, the subject of a bidding war between two aspiring Chinese owners who have spent the last day upping the price in increments of a few hundred Euros; it’s currently sitting at €15,000 with two and a half days to go.
The guy’s a climber and I think of him as more of a Cervelo R5 rider, but after scouring the Gruber archives, I realised that the S5 did the bulk of the work this Tour de France – all but that time-trial and six or so key stages where the road pointed uphill. On those days, Vingegaard and his teammates tended to reach for the R5, featuring the standard team bike paintjob, presumably for weight reasons. Petite riders with deep pockets can place a bid on Vingegaard’s R5 for (at time of writing) amounts over €9,000, if they can overlook the cosmetic damage to the SRAM logo on the chainstay. There are, curiously, no batteries for the derailleurs included, but I’m sure you can twist the mechanic’s arm.
If you’re a less-petite rider who simply must have authentic Jumbo-Visma Tour de France bikes, there are options for you, too. Wout van Aert’s S5 is also currently the subject of a two-party Chinese bidding war, with the price closing on €10,000, along with the neat inclusion of a Tour de France race number. His R5 is less in demand (current bid €7,511), although truthfully either is a fairly good buy seeing as they’ve seen less use: he left the race partway through.
You want something more Dutch? Look no further than a Dylan van Baarle or Nathan van Hooydonck S5 – the former a spare bike (it’s not in Dutch champs colours) and the latter with a Champs-Élysées-issue 1x setup, complete with garish yellow SRAM decals on shifters and cranks and matching bar tape. Something a little more classic in appearance? How about an R5 ridden by Wilco Kelderman or a pre-moustache Tiesj Benoot? Or, for that full Tour de France experience, perhaps Jumbo-Visma can interest you in the S5 that highly-French Frenchman Christophe Laporte piloted down cycling’s most famous boulevard on July 23?
The superteam’s garage sale has been rolling for a week or so, with a swathe of bikes from other races already auctioned off. Primoz Roglic’s Olympic gold-flavoured P5 time-trial bike was the subject of a back and forth between, again, Chinese bidders, selling for €22,100, while Sepp Kuss’ R5 and S5 – as used in some combination of all three Grand Tours this year – have also been sold for five figure sums.
You might wonder what the money raised goes towards, and anyone hoping for a wholesome charity angle will be sorely disappointed. The proceeds raised, a note down the bottom of the page reads, “will be used to continue the development and growth of the Team Jumbo-Visma and will be used for various different projects.”
Perhaps that’s an incentive for some to shell out a little more, but given Jumbo-Visma’s run of recent PR headscratchers maybe it’s just as much a disincentive; they are, after all, about as far as possible from being a team in need of any further growth or development.
Glass half-full, however: Richard Plugge and the fellas have (so far) raised more than €70,000 from the Tour bikes alone, plus another €114,000 from the earlier batch – and that’s before we punch the calculator on a bunch of used jerseys, race-suits and other memorabilia sold through the platform. Not a bad start on the Cian Uijtebroeks buyout bonanza.
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