Team LottoNL Jumbo heads to the Ruta del Sol (February 18-22), with six of its seven riders making their season debut and all looking for success. The team will be spearheaded by 2014 stage winner Moreno Hofland and overall hopeful Wilco Kelderman. He will go up against Alberto Contyador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Chris Froome (Team Sky), who also make their season debut in the south of Spain.
Hofland won the closing stage of the race last year. “I cannot wait to start racing again,” he said in a press release from the team. "After my stage win in last year’s Ruta del Sol, expectations will be high. I hope to get in the mix straight away in order to work my way to top form for Paris-Nice and the classics.”
Kelderman has his eye on the time trial and the overall classification at the race. “The third and fourth days, with tough uphill finishes, are going to be important for him,” said sport director Merijn Zeeman.
Another option for the team is Steven Kruijswijk. “The Giro d’Italia is his big goal this year, but he already feels strong and is full of confidence for the Ruta. He’ll have space to ride for the GC and to test himself on the climbs,” according to Zeeman.
“There will be a lot of top riders and there are going to be fireworks. We want our riders to move to the top, so the Ruta del Sol is a good opportunity to see where we stand.”
Team LottoNL-Jumbo for the Ruta del Sol: Laurens ten Dam, Jos van Emden, Moreno Hofland, Wilco Kelderman, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer and Maarten Tjallingii