2017 WorldTour teams preview: Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Jan 03 2017 09:21 pm CET

2017 WorldTour teams preview: Team LottoNL-Jumbo

As the 2017 WorldTour season continues to edge closer, CyclingPub takes a look at all 18 participating teams. Today, it's the turn of Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

The only Dutch WorldTour team has had a more than interesting 2016 campaign with Steven Kruijswijk almost winning the Giro d'Italia until a bad crash in one of the last stages. Although the podium was lost, the rider's performance was promising for the future and allows the team to shift its focus for 2017.

Kruijswijk will once again lead the team at the Giro in 2017 and he will now have the help of new arrivals Stef Clement (coming from IAM Cycling) and Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck who made the move from Team Katusha.

After his crash in the Giro and later having to abandon the Vuelta a España after hitting a low pole near the finish line of a stage, Kruijswijk aims to ride both Grand Tours again and is determined to fight for the general classification both in Italy and in Spain.

With the departure of Wilco Kelderman to Team Sunweb, Kruijswijk is the only remaining card for the overall classification of grand tours. Robert Gesink, previously a candidate for the top ten of any big race, is now set to focus on stage wins in the Tour de France.

The 30-year-old rode the 2016 Vuelta in that capacity and the lack of pressure to perform for the overall classification allowed the Dutchman to take part in several breakaways, one of which ended with Gesink's very first stage victory in a grand tour.

The next challenge for Gesink will be to repeat this achievement in the Tour de France. "The last few years were really an eye-opener for me. The Tour in 2015 and the Vuelta in 2016 gave me the feeling that there is still much to do. I’m looking forward to going for stage wins in the upcoming Tour. I'm going back to my roots of offensive racing and going for it," he said in a recent press statement.

The third big card for LottoNL-Jumbo to play in 2017 is young sprinter Dylan Groenewegen. At just 23, the talented rider did well to be near the front several times in sprint finishes at the 2016 Tour de France and victories in both stage races and one-day events allow him and the team to make big plans for the coming season.

In 2017, Groenewegen will once again ride the Tour de France and will want to retain his Dutch national champion's jersey after winning his home nation's championships last June.

LottoNL-Jumbo, one of the oldest teams in the current WorldTour (previously named Rabobank and Belkin) has attracked nine new riders including Lars Boom, Spaniard Juan Jose Lobato del Valle and the already mentioned Stef Clement and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

In addition to Kelderman, the recent transfer window also saw the departures of classics specialist Sep Vanmarcke to Cannondale and Dutch sprinter Moreno Hofland to Lotto-Soudal.

The coming season should be an interesting one for LottoNL-Jumbo as it continues to search for its ideal focus. Grand Tours will be the team's main objective as it fights both for classifications and stage wins. What the changes mean to the formation's presence in other races including spring classics remains to be seen.

The complete roster

Enrico Battaglin (ITA)
George Bennett (NZL)
Lars Boom (NED)
Koen Bouwman (NED)
Victor Campenaerts (BEL)
Twan Castelijns (NED)
Stef Clement (NED)
Floris De Tier (BEL)
Robert Gesink (NED)
Dylan Groenewegen (NED)
Amund Grondahl Jansen (NOR)
Martijn Keizer (NED)
Steven Kruijswijk (NED)
Steven Lammertink (NED)
Thomas Leezer (NED)
Bert-Jan Lindeman (NED)
Juan Jose Lobato del Valle (ESP)
Paul Martens (GER)
Primoz Roglic (SLO)
Timo Roosen (NED)
Antwan Tolhoek (NED)
Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL)
Jos van Emden (NED)
Alexey Vermeulen (USA)
Robert Thomas Wagner (GER)
Maarten Wynants (BEL)

By Jonathan Roorda
Photo of a Team LottoNL-Jumbo truck by CyclingPub.com





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