12-months Wilco Keldeman was a standout rider at the Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing fourth overall and winning the best young rider classification on the back of seventh at the Giro d'Italia. Kelderman makes his Tour de France debut in 2015 and will start this year's Dauphiné with his eye on July having just completed three weeks of altitude training in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
"Last year, the race was a like a desert for me, this time it's about preparation," Kelderman said. "That's different of course. I don't know how my shape is exactly, although I have been able to train properly in Spain. I'm aiming for a good result, but the most important thing is to end the race with a nice feeling. After the final stage, I still have three weeks before the start of the Tour. That is quite long."
Of the three stage races that Kelderman has started in 2015, his best result was ninth overall at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in March which saw him claim the best young rider prize.
With Kelderman looking ahead to July, LottoNL-Jumbo's sport director Merijn Zeeman explained the other seven riders selected for the race are all capable of recording results in their own rights and will be given the freedom to do so.
"We're not completely focused on Wilco," Zeeman said. He will travel to France early this week to recon some Tour stages.
"Everyone is allowed to ride for his own chances. Martijn Keizer has a Giro in his legs and George Bennett should be able to perform on this course. The others are in shape, as well. We head into the race with ambitions to achieve a result every day. For that, we need to be aggressive."
With a team time trial to feature in the Dauphiné for the firs time since 1980, on stage 3, Zeeman added the team will treat it as a dress rehearsal for the Tour and fine tune its technique on the 24.5km course "as there's one in the Tour de France, as well,” Zeeman said. “It is an important part of the race.
"Mathieu Heijboer is our TT specialist and he will be present in the Dauphiné to make sure the preparation runs as smoothly as possible. This week we have TTT training scheduled in Holland as well."
Dennis van Winden makes his third appearance for the team who he re-joined in May after spending the first five months with the Synergy Baku team. Bennett, who was forced to miss the Giro d'Italia due to low cortisol levels, will be looking to impress in the mountains after returning to racing at the Tour of Belgium last week.
LottoNL-Jumbo for Critérium du Dauphiné: George Bennett, Brian Bulgaç, Jos van Emden, Martijn Keizer, Wilco Kelderman, Bram Tankink, Dennis van Winden and Maarten Wynants.