The Dutch team will miss one race, the Presidential Tour of Turkey, which is scheduled to take place from April 18-23, according to Wielerflits.nl. Team director Nico Verhoeven said the race doesn't fit in the schedule, but played down the role that the country's political situation played in the team's decision. In July of 2016, the government of President Tayyip Erdoğan survived a coup attempt from a faction of the military.
"It takes place during the period of Amstel Gold Race, the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège," Verhoeven explained [those races take place between April 16 and 23 - ed]. "Immediately after there is the Tour de Romandie. The political situation is not quite very good in Turkey, but if you look purely at the schedule, that race is not a good fit."
The other new races on the 2017 WorldTour Calendar include The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (January 29), the Tour of Qatar (February 6-10), The Abu Dhabi Tour (February 23-26), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (February 25), Strade Bianche (March 4), Dwars Door Vlaanderen (March 22), Eschborn-Frankfurt (May 1), Amgen Tour of California (May 14-21), and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (July 30).
Team manager Richard Plugge highlighted the importance of scoping out the new races in light of the recently announced changes to the UCI points structure for the WorldTour rankings. There are points available down to 60 places, and all riders in a team count toward the teams classifications that will determine which squads will remain in the WorldTour as the numbers are reduced beginning in 2018.
"I would rather not race all of them," Plugge said. "But it's not about what we want or don't want to race. The World Tour rankings and World Tour calendar are super important from 2018. We want to know how we as a team can score the best in the WorldTour."
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