Team Sunweb have confirmed its Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin will skip the Tour de France with the team to focus on stage wins via Michael Matthews. Team Sunweb has announced its 13-rider long list for next month's Tour which starts with a time trial in Düsseldorf.
As a German-registered team, Sunweb is aiming to shine on home soil with stage wins. Last year Dumoulin won two stages for the team while Marcel Kittel enjoyed four stage wins in 2013 and 2014 with the team. In 2017, Sunweb are backing in Matthews to continue its winning streak.
Matthews and leadout man Nikias Arndt, making his Tour debut, are the two confirmed riders for the team after the duo completed a three-week altitude training camp in Livigno and made a successful return to racing at the Tour de Suisse. Matthews won stage 10 of last year's Tour with Orica-BikeExchange and recently told Cyclingnews he is again targeting a stage win.
Team Sunweb's trainer Hendrik Werner explained the team's ambition for the Tour with Matthews and approach before the July 1 start.
"This year our goal is to go for stage results and this long-list will offer plenty of talent and opportunities to select a powerful line-up," said Werner. "A line-up not only to support Michael optimally on the sprint stages with a strong lead-out, but also one to create opportunities from breakaways that potentially make it to the finish, as well as the intermediate stages. We have spent time training at altitude together, along with the rest of the team, building further on a strong foundation from the first racing block of the season to prepare for a tough three-week-journey in France. The last couple of races ahead of the Tour have been and will be used to focus on coaching, cooperation and on the dynamics within the team and to fine-tune the sprint preparation process."
While Team Sunweb is focused on the sprints, the inclusion of Laurens ten Dam and Warren Barguil on the long-list suggest the squad is also focused on stage wins in the mountains. A stage winner at the 2015 Tour, Simon Geschke also provides options for the high mountains having worked at the Giro for Dumoulin. From the Giro squad, Johannes Fröhlinger is also named on the long list.
Søren Kragh Andersen, Mike Teunissen and Phil Bauhaus have also been named on the long-list and could all make their debuts at the French Grand Tour. Tom Stamsnijder, who has ridden 12 Grand Tours, could also be selected for his Tour debut.
Team Sunweb Tour de France long list: Søren Kragh Andersen (Den), Nikias Arndt (Ger), Warren Barguil (Fra), Phil Bauhaus (Ger), Roy Curvers (Ned), Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger), Simon Geschke (Ger), Michael Matthews (Aus), Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned), Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Laurens ten Dam (Ned), Mike Teunissen (Ned), and Albert Timmer (Ned).