Juan José Lobato will ride for LottoNL-Jumbo in 2017 after signing a two-year deal with the Dutch squad. The 27-year-old Spaniard has spent the past three seasons at Movistar and has claimed four victories thus far in 2016.
"I'm really happy to join Team LottoNL-Jumbo for the next two seasons," Lobato said in a statement issued by the team on Monday. "I felt that I needed a change for 2017 and to sign for a Dutch Team is important in the development of my skills in the sprints and classics. If you want to be a big sprinter and a big rider in one-day races then joining team LottoNL-Jumbo makes perfect sense."
Lobato placed 4th at Milan-San Remo in 2014 and was a strong performer in last year's windswept edition of Gent-Wevelgem, eventually placing 13th. He arrives at a LottoNL-Jumbo squad that already boasts two up and coming fast men in Dylan Groenewegen and Moreno Hofland.
"Everyone sees that Team LottoNL-Jumbo is working well with overall riders like Steven Kruijswijk, but they are also doing a fantastic job with young and fast talents like Dylan Groenewegen. That helped in my decision to sign for this team. I want to learn from the trainers and grow in the team's structure," Lobato said.
Since turning professional with Andalucia in 2011 – he went on to race for Euskaltel in 2013 – Lobato has carved out a niche for himself as a redoubtable finisher in an uphill sprint, as he demonstrated in winning at Hatta Dam at this year's Dubai Tour.
"Lobato is a strong addition in our plan towards 2018," said LottoNL-Jumbo technical director Nico Verhoeven. "He is a decent rider uphill and in tough finishes. He's able to compete for the victories, especially when the finishes are slightly uphill."
LottoNL-Jumbo have already confirmed that stage race leaders Steven Kruijswijk and Robert Gesink will remain at the team in 2017.