Wilco Kelderman will make his Team Sunweb debut at the Tour Down Under later this month, looking to improve on his sixth-place overall finish at the 2013 race. While Kelderman targets the general classification, Nikias Arndt will focus on victory in the sprint stages.
Kelderman and Arndt will be joined in the race by Phil Bauhaus, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Chris Hamilton and Lennard Hofstede in the race that runs from January 17-22.
"Next week we will start the WorldTour season for Team Sunweb in my home town of Adelaide at the Tour Down Under," said coach Luke Roberts. "All seven riders have had a good build up to the race and I expect the four riders starting new on the team here will be out to impress."
Newcomers on the roster include Kelderman, Bauhaus, Hamilton and Hofstede.
"With the new guys in the team we've been working on sprint preparation routines over the last couple of months, and we hope for some nice results in the sprint stages. For those stages Nikias [Arndt] is in good shape and will be a contender for a stage podium finish. On top of that with Wilco we'll be aiming for a nice GC result. He finished 6th in 2013 here and we'll see what he can do this year."
Kelderman has competed in the race just once, choosing to start his season in Spain and Portugal over the ensuing three years. Arndt will get the nod on the first day, which will likely end in a bunch sprint. Kelderman will get his first shot at climbing up the GC ladder during stage 2, which finishes with a 1km climb up Paracombe.
Stage 3 looks like a day for the the sprinters, while stage 4's lumpy route could favour a breakaway. Kelderman will have a day to shine again on the fifth day's Queen stage and the climb up Wilunga Hill. Arndt will likely come to the fore again on the final day for the 90km circuit race around the Adelaide.
Team Sunweb for Tour Down Under: Nikias Arndt, Phil Bauhaus, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Chris Hamilton, Lennard Hofstede, Wilco Kelderman