Michael Matthews and his lead-out train dominate Team Sunweb's Tour de France team, which was announced on Wednesday, while Warren Barguil and Laurens ten Dam will chase stage victories in the high mountains.
As had already long been confirmed, there is no place in the team for Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin, who is instead expected to target the Vuelta a España and World Championships time trial later in the season.
Matthews was a stage winner at last year's Tour and lines up for this year's race as arguably the most realistic challenger to Peter Sagan's longstanding dominance of the points classification.
The Australian joined Sunweb from Orica-Scott at the beginning of this season and enjoyed a consistent spring campaign, which included a fine fourth place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He underlined his pre-Tour form with a stage win at last week's Tour de Suisse, and he will set out from Düsseldorf on July 1 with the initial target of landing a stage victory.
Matthews will be able to rely on the support of lead-out man Nikias Arndt, as well as Ramon Sinkeldam, Mike Teunissen, Albert Timmer and Roy Curvers on the flat stages.
"Our nine-rider line-up has been created with the team's overall goal of stage results at the forefront of our mind," said Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek. "We have selected a strong group of riders to form the lead-out train for Michael on the sprint stages with a difficult finale. The recent racing campaign was a pinpoint on our year plan to work on optimising our lead-out."
The remainder of the roster is filled by a trio of climbers in the form of Barguil, Ten Dam and Simon Geschke. Ten Dam was Dumoulin's most valuable climbing domestique at the Giro and he brings a wealth of experience to the Tour, having placed 9th overall in 2014.
Geschke won at Pra-Loup on the 2015 Tour and will aim for a repeat here, while Barguil will seek to better his 14th place finish from 2015, though Visbeek suggested that stage victories would take priority over the general classification.
"We have selected the trio of Warren, Simon and Grand Tour veteran Laurens, who will aim for breakaways," Visbeek said. "We aim to apply an offensive racing strategy in selected intermediate, hilly and mountain stages.”
Team Sunweb for the Tour de France: Nikias Arndt (Ger), Warren Barguil (Fra), Roy Curvers (Ned), Simon Geschke (Ger), Michael Matthews (Aus), Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned), Laurens ten Dam (Ned), Mike Teunissen (Ned), Albert Timmer (Ned).
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