Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo have revealed the eight riders who will represent them at the 2018 Tour de France, starting in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile on July 7.
The team will be led by 31-year-old Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk and the recent winner of the Tour of Slovenia, Primoz Roglic. For the sprints, Dylan Groenewegen – winner of the final stage of last year's Tour on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – will give the likes of Marcel Kittel, Fernando Gaviria and Mark Cavendish a run for their money for stage wins, and has to be considered one of the favourites to take the green jersey.
Kruijswijk's best Grand Tour finish came at the 2016 Giro d'Italia, when he infamously crashed on the descent of the Colle dell'Agnello on stage 19 while in the pink jersey as leader of the race. Going into the stage, Kruijswijk had an overall lead of three minutes over Esteban Chaves, and was looking like a good bet for the overall title. But the Dutchman would lose almost five minutes to the day's stage winner, Vincenzo Nibali, who went on to win his second Giro, and Kruijswijk had to settle for fourth.
Roglic took a memorable stage win at Serre-Chevalier at last year's Tour, and has come on in leaps and bounds again this season, winning a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico in March, and then the overall title at Pais Vasco in April, the overall classification at the Tour de Romandie later that month, before the Tour of Slovenia in June. The 28-year-old Slovenian could challenge for a top-five finish at the Tour, and perhaps even the podium.
The squad will be guided on the road by the experienced Robert Gesink, whose very best years may be behind him. But five Grand Tour top-10 finishes – including fifth at the 2010 Tour and sixth at the 2015 edition – put him in a great position to pass on his knowledge and experience to Roglic and Kruijswijk, and the Dutchman may even get the opportunity to add a Tour stage victory to his palmarès.
LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2018 Tour de France: Robert Gesink, Dylan Groenewegen, Amund Grondahl Jansen, Steven Kruijswijk, Paul Martens, Primoz Roglic, Timo Roosen, Antwan Tolhoek
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