Cycling | 15 september 2018

Preview World Championships TTT: 'chosen this line-up with view to the future'

On 23 September, the World Championships team time trial are on the program. Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Neilson Powless, Timo Roosen, Danny van Poppel and Koen Bouwman will start for Team LottoNL-Jumbo.

Head of Performance Mathieu Heijboer: “We’ve chosen this line-up with a view to the future. Due to circumstances, we can’t start with our strongest team. That’s why we start with a young team, with three debutants. We’ve adjusted our strategy and goal. The final ranking is less important; we want to ride a good team time trial.”

Danny van Poppel, Koen Bouwman and Neilson Powles will make their debut in this discipline during the World Championships. The upcoming years, there will be important team time trials during grand tours. That’s why it’s an important learning experience in their careers. In Jos van Emden and Tom Leezer we have two experienced riders who’ve ridden multiple world championships. The other riders can take advantage from their experience.”

“Due to an injury, Primoz Roglic won’t ride. He hasn’t been able to train enough on his time trial bike. After the Tour de France, he had a small stone in his arm removed. That’s why he couldn’t optimally prepare for the time trial championships. He’s focusing on the road race. Moreover, Robert Gesink crashed a few weeks ago. That’s why he can’t start either.”

“Koen, Neilson and Jos have won the team time trial in the Tour of Britain. It was a boost for their confidence and a great experience. This time trial was fourteen kilometres long, while the TTT in Innsbruck is 63 kilometres. In grand tours the time trials are often longer too.”

“The course is technically not so hard, but the profile is really challenging. The first fourty kilometres are slightly downhill. After that, the riders have to conquer a feisty climb. We know this climb well, because it was near our high altitude camp in Kühtai. It breaks the rhythm. During the first part, you’re riding sixty kilometres an hour and suddenly it becomes twenty kilometres an hour. That’s unusual. It’s a time trial where we have to be smart about how we spend energy. And putting the right riders at the right moments in front. Tactics are really important.”