Jonas Rutsch renews with team
"I really enjoy the people here"
“I appreciate the development I’ve had as a rider these past two years with EF Education-NIPPO.”
- Jonas Rutsch
Back at the start of the 2020 race season, Jonas Rutsch was a 22-year-old rider experiencing a lot of nerves at his first major event. The Town Down Under in Australia saw a new German pro make his impressive debut, and while he was making bold moves in the breakaways, Rutsch admits his physical and mental strength still needed some improvements.
“If I could go back, I would tell myself not to stress about situations that are new and to stay calm. I was so nervous and a bit over excited which is quite normal, but oftentimes unnecessary,” said Rutsch.
These days, the now 23-year-old is more confident than ever, even when he’s riding with pros who’ve had many more years in the peloton. If you watched any of the Tour de Suisse or Tour de France, you would have noticed that he’s also an exceptional climber even at his unusually tall height for a cyclist at six-foot six. Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters was impressed by these climbing skills, particularly at a very mountainous edition of the Tour de France this year.
“It was incredible to watch an 85-kilogram rider climb with the first group of riders. It was fun to watch just how good he really is, especially in cold weather. He just really excels in the mountains which is very surprising,” said Vaughters.
Those skills must be what got him the nickname “Mountain Goat” from his friends and teammates. And while Rutsch does make bold moves on the climbs and in the breakaways, he’s also been a very supportive teammate this year. Part of what makes this rider such an essential part of the EF Education-NIPPO roster is that he always lays it all out there for the other riders.
“The Tour de France was a big success for us and for me in my development and my pro career. I really enjoyed working for Rigo and giving it my all for him. I also had good results myself in the time trials and the breakaways,” said Rutsch.
Rutsch was also excited to make his Tour debut this year alongside one of his closest friends on the team: Stefan Bissegger.
“I have a great connection with Stefan. We spent a lot of time together in a very high altitude training camp. I’m also very close with my coach Ken Vanmarcke and Andreas Klier is always there when I have a question I don’t know how to deal with,” said Rutsch.
Most recently, Rutsch captivated the crowds at Paris-Roubaix with his incredible performance at the toughest one-day race of the year.
“I think Jonas will be a Roubaix guy for the next few years,” said teammate Sebastian Langeveld. And that’s all coming from a veteran who has done Roubaix 13 times. Rutsch finished the race just ahead of Langeveld in eleventh place overall, covered in the usual Roubaix mud and with absolutely nothing left in the tank.
Vaughters agrees with Langeveld, and goes as far to even say that Jonas Rutsch will one day win the race.
“This kid could be a future winner of Paris-Roubaix and this year we saw that potential come up,” said Vaughters. “It could definitely be in his future, I have no doubt in my mind.”
Now that Roubaix is behind him and the race season has officially come to an end for the rider, he’s looking forward to working hard during the off-season and coming back stronger than ever. During his downtime and recovery, he will most likely be making himself an espresso or watching Game of Thrones.
“I’m so happy to be on the team. It’s just a good fit. The team trusted me and gave me a chance even though I’m young. Now it’s a question of what I could give back to them,” said Rutsch.