Giant-Alpecin have announced their eight-rider squad for Paris-Nice to be lead by Tom Dumoulin with support from Laurens ten Dam in his first race for the German team. Dumoulin, who started his season by placing fourth overall at the Tour of Oman, makes his second start at the 'race to the sun' and will look to better his ninth place of 2015 to set up a GC challenge.
"Our first focus will be to do a good prologue with Tom. From there on we will take it day by day to see what is possible in the general classification," coach Aike Visbeek said.
Ten Dam lines up for his first race since the 2015 Tour de France and first in Giant-Alpecin colours following his move across from LottoNL-Jumbo. The 35-year-old will ride in support of Dumoulin at Paris-Nice, returning to the WorldTour race for the first time since 2012. Dumoulin will also be able to call upon Tobias Ludvigsson when the roads go uphill.
While the team features riders capable of claiming results in sprint finishes, Visbeek explained that the team has been selected to ensure Dumoulin is kept safe on the testing stages that feature the roads of Paris-Tours and "chalky tracks reminiscent of the Tro Bro Leon final" in the early stages.
"With the experience of Koen and Roy we will be able to deal with the different conditions of the race. In addition, Laurens will bring that necessary experience for the mountains," Visbeek explained.
The 74th edition of Paris-Nice starts with a 6.1km prologue in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, before taking the peloton south from Condé-sur-Vesgre to Vendôme. The race concludes with two stages around Nice with the final stage a 141km test from Nice to Nice that features six catergorised climbs, the last of which is the Col d'Eze, before finishing on the seafront Promenade des Anglais.
Giant-Alpecin for Paris-Nice: Roy Curvers, Laurens ten Dam, Tom Dumoulin, Simon Geschke, Cheng Ji, Koen de Kort, Tobias Ludvigsson and Georg Preidler.