Kruijswijk to focus on Tour de France in 2018
Roglic, Groenewegen renew with LottoNL-Jumbo
Steven Kruijswijck, who led the 2016 Giro d'Italia for five days, will switch his focus to the Tour de France in 2018. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider looked to have secured the victory in the Giro last season, but a crash into the snow wall on the Colle dell'Agnello on stage 19 wrecked his chances to win, but he still secured his best Grand Tour finish in fourth.
Kruijswijck tried again this season and was working his way up through the Giro's top 10 overall in the final week until he was struck by stomach problems and abandoned on the penultimate stage. He went on to finish ninth overall in the Vuelta a Espana, again shrugging off a slow start to climb up the rankings in the final week.
In 2018, the Dutchman will skip the Giro d'Italia in favour of the Tour de France, where he will focus on the general classification.
"We think that there is an opportunity to ride a good classification," Kruijswijk said in a press release. "I have competed in the Giro six or seven times. It is nice to focus on the Tour once again. During that race, there's a lot coming at you, but I'm not new to the peloton. I can deal with it. As a team, we will go to the Tour for team successes and for this we have a very nice squad."
The LottoNL-Jumbo squad also announced the renewals of Primoz Roglic and Dylan Groenewegen during its team presentation at Jumbo headquarters in Veghel on Friday.
Roglic's plan for the season includes both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, but he will not race for the general classification, instead, he will target stage wins. Robert Gesink will follow a similar programme, racing the Tour in support of Kruijswijk along with sprinter Dylan Groenewegen, and Lars Boom, who won the Tour's cobbled stage in 2014 and will aim to repeat that feat when the Tour returns to Roubaix on stage 9.
For the Giro d'Italia, the team will field new sprinter Danny van Poppel, Gesink and Roglic. Van Poppel will also race the Vuelta.
Lars Boom is still intended to be the team's leader for the Spring Classics, despite having to undergo cardiac ablation surgery to correct an arrhythmia.
The 2018 LottoNL-Jumbo team has 26 riders following the dismissal of Juan José Lobato for violating the team's policies and taking sleep medication outside the approval of team physicians.
Team Lotto Nl-Jumbo 2018: Pascal Eenkhoorn, Sepp Kuss, Neilson Powless, Danny Van Poppel, Enrico Battaglin, George Bennett, Lars Boom, Koen Bouwman, Stef Clement, Floris De Tier, Robert Gesink, Dylan Groenewegen, Amund Grondahl Jansen, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens, Daan Olivier, Primoz Roglic, Timo Roosen, Bram Tankink, Antwan Tolhoek, Jos Van Emden, Gijs Van Hoecke, Robert Wagner, Maarten Wynants
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