Robert Gesink and Wilco Kelderman will lead Team LottoNL-Jumbo this Saturday in the last, and perhaps toughest, WorldTour event of 2017, Il Lombardia.
"It's one of the most honest classics of the season,” Sports Director Addy Engels said. “The course is so difficult that only the best men survive. That makes the Tour of Lombardy such a beautiful race.
"We have a good team for this Italian classic. With Gesink and Kelderman, we have two guys who can play a role in the final. With Martens, Lindeman and Tankink, we have some experienced men. Enrico Battaglin will return for the first time after he abandoned the Vuelta due a crash. Given its his home race, he will be motivated. Koen Bouwman and Alexey Vermeulen are the young riders of the squad." Gesink should be the team’s star, but Kelderman could also surprise in the race to Bergamo.”
"Robert Gesink showed in the past that he can participate in the final. He finished the Vuelta well and is fresh enough now to do it."
"Wilco showed in the Eneco Tour that he's in shape, too. Kelderman has the advantage of going deep a week before this race. With a good rest, he can be in a good shape for the start Saturday."
Gesink hast not raced since the Vuelta ended on September 11."I am motivated to show something beautiful in my last race this season. Lombardia is a marvellous race where I often score a good result,” said Gesink. “I wonder how my legs are going. The Vuelta was great, but then I have not raced for a long time. I trained hard to hold my level, though."
"Together with Alexey Vermeulen, we leave early for Italy to explore the final. It has changed, so it cannot hurt to preview it. "
‘We can show something’
Wilco Kelderman has just returned from the Eneco Tour, where he placed sixth overall. "I hope to be able to compete in the final,” added Kelderman. “I want to help Robert as long as possible in the final. Together with Gesink, we definitely can show something.”
"It's wait and see how my shape is coming along for Saturday. Normally, the weekend after a big event, I'm going well. It's going to be different with the many and different climbs. The course is obviously not comparable to that of the Eneco Tour."