Development Team Sunweb made a bold move this offseason by contracting all of their new signings, as well as two existing U23s in Nils Eekhoff and Jarno Mobach to two-year deals, rather than the standard one-year contract most U23 teams use. This allowed the riders time to develop securely, without the fear of being dropped if things do not go well.
Mobach is a precocious talent who is entering his third year at the U23 level. The 20-year-old Dutchman has a wide range of skills that make him a threat in multiple terrains, as he can climb, TT and ride Classics. While his new deal means we are unlikely to see him in the WorldTour until the 2021 season, U23 Cycling Zone still believe in bringing you interviews with massive talents, regardless of when they will become pros. Jarno graciously gave up some of his time to answer our questions.
“The 2018 season has been a season with ups and downs I would say. I had some good results with taking a top 10 in the GC of Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux and being in the leader’s jersey of Tour de Bretagne and eventually taking 5th overall. However, I have had some problems with being sick multiple times in the beginning of the season and I had two serious crashes in the second half of the year which led to not being on the level I hoped to be on towards the end of the season. So, in the end still I can be satisfied with showing my capabilities, even if it was not always in the best circumstances.”
Jarno has already touched on a few of his top results. After grabbing a stage win at the Olympia’s Tour in his first season as an U23, he was 8th overall in the Tryptique this season and 5th at Tour de Bretagne. He added 4th in both the Olympia’s Tour ITT and the Netherlands U23 ITT, plus 11th at Paris-Roubaix, a race he won as a junior in 2016. With a diverse skillset, we talked with Jarno about his strengths and weaknesses, as well as the rider he wishes to become.
“At the moment I would say I am quite a good all-rounder with good TT capabilities. So far, I have shown to be good in multiple terrains, from hilly stage races to classics and I also want to keep developing myself as well as possible all-round. I would say that my sprint is a bit of a weakness, as I am not super fast, but after a hard race I can still be up there.”
Next, Jarno spoke in great detail about the faith he has in his current employers, and that he fully trusts them to help him develop into the best rider he can be. This was why he signed a contract that ensures he spends all four seasons as an U23 with Development Team Sunweb.
“The extension shows mutual confidence between me and the team and I am really happy to be able to develop myself in a good way to hopefully make it into the pro ranks eventually. In my opinion, Devo Team Sunweb is the best possible option to become a better bike rider and by extending two years, they give me the chance to grow step by step.”
Two of Devo Team Sunweb’s big captains from the 2018 season, U23 Cycling Zone interviewees Max Kanter and U23 World RR champ Marc Hirschi have moved up to the pro team, leaving Jarno in charge of the Classics team with Nils Eekhoff, while Felix Gall leads in the mountains and second year U23 Niklas Markl aims to trace the steps of Kanter in the sprints and Classics. So how does Jarno feel about assuming an absolute leadership role at the team for the next 24 months?
“The past two seasons I have learned a lot and gained a lot of experience, so I am quite excited to fulfill the role of a captain as good as possible in the next season. It does bring some extra pressure, but being a captain makes you stay sharp at every moment, which is a good thing.”
Despite slipping from 1st to 5th overall on the final day in Bretagne, Mobach says that full race has given him the confidence that he can win big bike races in 2019. His big 2019 aims are to be more consistent in the biggest races and keep developing along the impressive career path he has started along so far.
“With my performance in the Tour de Bretagne, I have shown I am able to ride for the win in a big race and therefore, I want to confirm this performance in the next season and hopefully I can make another step in my development next year with a more constant season.”
Despite having not really shown mountain legs yet, Jarno’s dream race to win is the one heralded as the biggest of them all, and he was more than happy to explain exactly why:
“It’s hard to pick one race, but if I would have to choose, I would go for Le Tour de France. It’s the biggest cycling race on the calendar and if you are able to be the best after 3 weeks of racing, that shows that you are one of the best endurance athletes in the world because there is no other sporting event of this level.”
We would be lying if we said we know what type of rider Jarno Mobach will become in the future. The truth is, he possesses so many skills that pinpointing a set area of the sport is near on impossible at his young age. But this rider is a massive talent, one who will surely be impactful at WorldTour level, whenever Team Sunweb or anyone else opts to turn him pro. He is destined for big things.
U23 Cycling Zone wishes to thank Jarno for taking the time to answer our questions, and we wish him all the best for the 2019 season. We also wish to thank Team Sunweb’s Emily Brammeier for facilitating the interview. Jarno can be followed on Instagram here.