Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo have announced its third signing for the 2017 season, after JJ Lobato (Movistar) and Lars Boom (Astana), with climber Antwan Tolhoek to join the squad on a two-year deal. The 22-year-old spent the 2015 season with Rabobank Development Team, ending the year as a stagiaire with Tinkoff-Saxo, and earned his first professional contract with the Roompot - Oranje Peloton squad.
A standout ride at the Tour de Suisse from Tolhoek landed him the mountains classification which he followed up with 21st overall at the Tour of Austria but then crashed out of the Vuelta a Burgos when he rode into the rear of a car.
Sports Director Nico Verhoeven explained that the signing of Tolhoek was a natural fit and is looking forward to seeing what he can do in the WorldTour ranks.
"Antwan Tolhoek is a young and developing," Verhoeven said. "He comes out of the speed skating and roller skating world, and has only been cycling for couple of years. That makes him fit perfectly with our philosophy of taking young talents to the highest level. Recently in Austria and the Tour de Suisse, where he won the mountains classification, he showed what he's capable of."
Tolhoek described his excitement regarding the move and explained he believes the team can help him take the next step in his development.
"I'm extremely glad to take the next step in my career with team LottoNL-Jumbo," Tolhoek said. "The team has a strong support group and presented to me a solid plan, which is encouraging. I came out of an environment where development was important as well. This team's vision and support make me feel confident.
"Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk found their way to the top by starting off as youngsters in this team," he added. "It's my dream to participate in the grand tours, and I want to go for it with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. I want to keep on growing as a rider."