Giant-Alpecin have named its teams for two stage races which start this week, the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Luxembourg, with sprint success an emphasis for both events. Luka Mezgec will lead the team's ambitions for stage success at the Dauphiné after several top-ten finishes at the Giro d'Italia. Caleb Fairly, Simon Geschke and Chad Haga will also back up for the French race after finishing the Giro on Sunday in Milan. The team will also enter both races with the objective of recording a good overall result.
"The Dauphiné is a difficult race with many climbing kilometers as we will aim for stage result there. We are heading to France with five guys who have completed the Giro d'Italia so we have to see how their form will be. Often we see that riders who complete a Grand Tour really have a peak in their form in the week after, however sometimes the fatigue takes over so we have to see how they handle that. For some it will be a new experience, which is beneficial for their development," said coach Christian Guiberteau.
Lawson Craddock, who most recently rode the Tour of California, will make his debut at the race as he looks to post a high overall result after a short period of rest.
"Craddock will have a protected status as we will try to have a good GC result with him. With Mezgec we have a strong sprinter for stages 1, 2 and 4, and with Geschke we will look for attacks to bring in stage success," added Guiberteau.
Giant-Alpecin for Critérium du Dauphiné: Lawson Craddock (USA), Caleb Fairly (USA), Simon Geschke (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Luka Mezgec (SLO) and Albert Timmer (NED).
Tom Dumoulin will lead the Giant-Alpecin team at the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg with the opening 2.7km prologue an opportunity for the Dutch national time trial champion to impose himself on the race with a first up win. Sprinters Ramon Sinkeldam and Zico Waeytens will also look to pick up stage wins in the following four days with Sinkeldam displaying his current condition by winning the Garmin Velothon Berlin on Sunday.
Dumoulin will be making his return to racing with Liège-Bastogne-Liège his last outing, finishing 26th, and be looking to better his fifth place at the race from three years ago.
"With Sinkeldam and Waeytens we have two fast riders who will use their abilities in the stages that end in a bunch sprint, and we need to exploit those opportunities as we aim for stage success in Luxembourg. [Roy] Curvers will have an important role in coordinating the sprint preparation," said coach Addy Engels.
Georg Preidler and Carter Jones will both be given license on the hilly stages with Johannes Fröhlinger and Lars van der Haar riding in support
"For the guys who are returning to competition after a period of training, we will wait and see how their shape is. Preidler and Carter are normally the guys that are good up hill so I am really curious how they will endure in the difficult stages," added Engels
Giant-Alpecin for Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg: Roy Curvers (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Carter Jones (USA), Georg Preidler (AUT), Lars van der Haar (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) and Zico Waeytens (BEL).