LottoNL-Jumbo will take a young and mostly inexperienced squad to the team time trial at the Innsbruck World Championships next weekend. Jos van Emden and Tom Leezer, as veterans, will lead the young squad.
Filling out the squad are Worlds newcomers Danny van Poppel, Koen Bouwman and Neilson Powless. The sixth rider is Timo Roosen, who rode the Worlds TTT for the team in 2015.
“We’ve chosen this line-up with a view to the future,” said Head of Performance Mathieu Heijboer. Injuries have prevented the strongest possible team, so we’ve adjusted our strategy and goal. The final ranking is less important; we want to ride a good team time trial.”
The team is missing last year’s ITT silver-medal winner Primoz Roglic. The Slovenian rider has not been able to train on his time trial bike due to an injury and will only ride the road race. Robert Gesink is also missing due to injuries suffered in a training crash in Canada.
“Koen, Nielson and Jos have won the team time trial in the Tour of Britain,” Heijboer noted. “It was a boost for their confidence and a great experience.”
The first two-thirds of the course are slightly downhill, but the final third is all climbing. “It’s a time trial where we have to be smart about how we spend our energy. And putting the right riders at the right moments in front. Tactics are really important.”