During the presentation of Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s cycling team at Jumbo headquarters in Veghel, manager Richard Plugge announced the contract renewals of Dylan Groenewegen and Primoz Roglic. Both stage winners of the last Tour de France were signed up until 2020.
The contract renewals are typical of the talent development that Team LottoNL-Jumbo advocates. “We have a good plan for the future”, Roglic said during the presentation. This also applies to the former Dutch champion. “It is logical that I renewed my contract", Groenewegen stated. “I have a lot of confidence in the team and the team has a lot of confidence in me.”
In Veghel, the contours of the racing programme of the riders also became clear. New rider Danny van Poppel will challenge the sprints in the Giro and the Vuelta for instance, while the team hopes to successfully play out Dylan Groenewegen in the Tour again. For the general classification, Team LottoNL-Jumbo counts on Steven Kruijswijk in the French stage race. He doesn’t participate in the Giro. After the Tour, he will also compete in the Vuelta, although without ambitions for the general classification.
“We think that there is an opportunity to ride a good classification”, Kruijswijk said. “I have competed in the Giro six or seven times. It is nice to focus on the Tour once again. During that race, there’s a lot coming at you, but I’m not new to the peloton. I can deal with it. As a team, we will go to the Tour for team successes and for this we have a very nice squad.”
During the spring classics, Team LottoNL-Jumbo aims to perform better than last year. Lars Boom is the main rider for this type of races, although the resident from the Dutch town of Vlijmen is currently facing a physical setback. In mid-January, he will undergo an ablation to remedy cardiac arrhythmia. As a result, he will not participate in the Tour Down Under. To prepare himself for the classics in February he will engage in altitude training. After the spring, Boom will focus at the Tour de France, in which he won the cobblestone stage in 2014.
“It’s a pity that the spring is going be a little different for me”, Boom said. “We have to wait and see how quickly I will recover from the operation. They will enter my body through the groin and then take away the troublesome spot. I’m in good hands.”
In addition to Boom, Groenewegen and Kruijswijk, Roglic and Robert Gesink are normally also making their appearance in the Tour de France. The Slovenian long-range plan states that he will not focus on a classification for the coming year. Like Roglic, Gesink will participate in the Tour to hunt for stage wins and to help leader Kruijswijk. His programme also comprises the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro d’Italia. During the Italian stage race a stage win will be his main objective.
Team LottoNL-Jumbo 2018
New riders: EENKHOORN Pascal, KUSS Sepp, POWLESS Neilson, VAN POPPEL Danny. Retained riders: BATTAGLIN Enrico, BENNETT George, BOOM Lars, BOUWMAN Koen, CLEMENT Stef, DE TIER Floris, GESINK Robert, GROENEWEGEN Dylan, GRONDAHL JANSEN Amund, KRUIJSWIJK Steven, LEEZER Tom, LINDEMAN Bert-Jan, MARTENS Paul, OLIVIER Daan, ROGLIC Primoz, ROOSEN Timo, TANKINK Bram, TOLHOEK Antwan, VAN EMDEN Jos, VAN HOECKE Gijs, WAGNER Robert, WYNANTS Maarten. General Director: PLUGGE Richard, Sportive Director: ZEEMAN Merijn, Race Director: VERHOEVEN Nico, Head of Performance: HEIJBOER Mathieu, coaches: BOVEN Jan, DE HAAN Sierk-Jan, ENGELS Addy, MAASSEN Frans, NIERMANN Grischa.