Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo have named a youthful eight-rider team for the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine with the aim of providing them with experience. Having initially been named by race organisers ASO as a starter, Steven Kruijswijk will skip the Dauphine following his fourth place overall at the Giro d'Italia.
Having notched several top-ten results across the season, 24-year-old Moreno Hofland will be aiming for his first win of the season off the back of racing the Giro d'Italia.
"I think that Moreno Hofland might have a chance to sprint in two of the stages," sports director Merijn Zeeman said. "Besides that, we are taking two aggressive riders Mike Teunissen and Martijn Keizer. We will analyse their chances each day. The organiser programmed hard final days, when the big guns should show off."
With the tough parcours, Zeeman explained he is looking to see his riders fight for position and show themselves at the important moments of the Tour de France warm up race.
"The race passes very tough climbs, which are new to some of the riders," Zeeman said. "They have to make sure that they survive them. The TV-spectators won't see that fight, but in those moments, young professionals take important steps in their careers. Our riders will have their chances."
Finalising his ambitions for the Dauphine, Zeeman added that he is expecting the younger riders to animate the breakaways and help position Hofland in the finale of the sprint stages.
"They must ride aggressively to become stronger. They can do that by being part of the breakaway or by working well in the final part of a stage," he said.
Having finished seventh at the Tour of California last month, George Bennett provides the team with a GC option for the challenging race and is capable of racing aggressively as he showed in the states. American neo-pro Alexey Vermeulen has also been selected for the race from the California squad and heads back to Europe off the back of claiming bronze in the US national time trial championships.
LottoNL-Jumbo for 2016 Criterium du Dauphine: George Bennett, Victor Campenaerts, Moreno Hofland, Martijn Keizer, Alexey Vermeulen, Steven Lammertink, Mike Teunissen and Dennis van Winden.