LottoNL-Jumbo head to the 2.1 Tour de l'Ain with the ambition of claiming a stage win through Mike Teunissen and Steven Kruijswijk. 22-year-old Teunissen enters the race fresh from narrowly placing second at the Prudential RideLondon Classic and will start the race full of confidence.
"It's a nice race to strengthen my form even more," said Teunnissen, the 2013 World Under-23 Cyclo-cross champion. "We have a good team and I see chances for myself. The prologue suits me. It's a lot of twisting and turning, so my riding skills can be important. I can do the bunch sprints as well. I proved to be a fast rider over the last weeks."
With the five day race also offering opportunities for the climbers, LottoNL-Jumbo sport director Erik Dekker is hoping Kruijswijk can continue the form he has shown this season in finishing seventh overall at the Giro d'Italia and 21st at the Tour de France.
"The Tour de l'Ain is a versatile race," Erik Dekker explained. "It starts with a short prologue, there are two flat stages and two mountain stages. There are only six riders in each team, so this gives attentive riders a good opportunity to win a stage. Steven Kruijswijk really wants to win a stage and I think that Mike Teunissen and we have a good sprinter with Barry Markus. Nick van der Lijke are able to deliver in the bunch sprints as well. Mike is in top form, so I expect a lot from him in the prologue too."
Along with its two captains, the LottoNL-Jumbo squad for the race contains a mix of riders including stagiaire Twan Castelijns with Dekker adding that the team's ambitions reflect the composition of the team.
"Our first goal is to win a stage in the Tour de l'Ain," Dekker continues. "Besides that, it's a good race for some riders to take the next step in their aim for good results later this year."
AG2R La Mondiale and FDJ are the other two WorldTour squads taking part in the Tour de l'Ain from August 11-15.
LottoNL-Jumbo for Tour de L'Ain: Steven Kruijswijk, Mike Teunissen, Nick van der Lijke, Timo Roosen, Twan Castelijns and Barry Markus.