The Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg starts Wednesday with a 2.7km prologue followed by four hilly stages leading to the conclusion Sunday in Luxembourg City.
Giant-Alpecin are returning to the race after a two-year absence with a roster that can hunt for stage wins and general classification results. Sprinters Ramon Sinkeldam and Zico Waeytens come to the race fresh off success at the Velothon in Berlin, where Sinkeldam took the win and Waeytens was third.
“With Sinkeldam and Waeytens we have two fast riders who will use their abilities in the stages that end in a bunch sprint, and we need to exploit those opportunities as we aim for stage success in Luxembourg,” said coach Addy Engels.
For the climbing stages the team will look to Georg Preidler, who had a strong classics campaign, and Carter Jones, who performed well at the Tour of California Queen stage that finished at the top of Mt. Baldy.
"For the guys who are returning to competition after a period of training, we will wait and see how their shape is,” Engels said. “Preidler and Carter are normally the guys that are good up hill, so I am really curious how they will endure in the difficult stages.”
Roy Curvers will be Giant’s captain on the road, while Lars van der Haar’s participation is in question after he suffered a shoulder injury in a crash during last week's World Ports Classic. Johannes Fröhlinger rounds out the seven-rider squad.
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Kristian Sbaragli, Youcef Reguigui and Andy Stauff are three more fast men that can be in contention for stage wins. Jay Thomson, Adrien Niyonshuti and Matt Brammeier complete the African Pro Continental team’s line up for the five-day UCI 2.HC tour.
“Kristian will be coming into this race with some pretty good condition, so I think we can possibly target a good GC result with him,” said team director Michel Cornelisse.
“The course will also suit a rider like Youcef, so with both Kristian and Youcef we can aim high on the final classification. In my racing days I won the Tour of Luxembourg, so if I could do it, then anyone can [laughs].”