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Tom-Jelte Slagter (Belkin) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) have been named in the Netherlands elite men's team for the world road race championships in Tuscany, completing a strong and balanced squad for the tough road race around Florence.
Tour Down Under winner Slagter and current Dutch national champion Hoogerland join Bauke Mollema, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink and Wilco Kelderman (all Belkin) Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM), Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) and Pieter Weening (Orica-Green Edge) in the nine-rider team. All seem capable of performing well on the hilly course.
Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will ride the individual time trial. Lars Boom opted not ride the world championships as his partner is reportedly expecting their second child.
The elite men's road race will be held on Sunday September 29, with the Elite men's time trial on Wednesday September 25. The time trial covers a flat 57.9km course between Montecatini Terme and Florence. The road race is 272km long. It starts in Lucca before heading to Florence for the hilly circuit around Fiesole and the north of the Renaissance city.
Mollema is expected to lead the team but has struggled to remain an overall contender at the Vuelta a Espana.
"The world championships are still almost four weeks away. I know that all the riders will be 100% focused and keen for a Dutchman to do well," national coach Johan Lammerts said, cautious about the Netherlands' chances.
"We have to be realistic about what we can do. This is also the toughest course for the last 10 years."