LottoNL-Jumbo has named its team for the inaugural three-day Tour de Yorkshire race which starts Friday. Following the success of the 2014 Tour de France grand début in Yorkshire, ASO created the 2.1 stage race to take place on the roads missed by the grand tour last year although Leeds hosts the final stage finish on Sunday.
LottoNL-Jumbo will be hoping the race proves to be a key warm up event for the Giro d'Italia for its riders taking part in the Italian grand tour early next month.
"It will be a beautiful race," LottoNL-Jumbo sports director Nico Verhoeven said. "There was a lot of attention from the press during the British stages at the start of last year's Tour the France. That resulted in the first edition of the Tour de Yorkshire this year.
"With the Giro d'Italia to come, this is a nice race for us to ride. Moreno Hofland and Steven Kruijswijk are able to put the final touches on their preparations. It's perfect, and better to race three days instead of six hard days with a strong field in the Tour de Romandie.
LottoNL-Jumbo is the only WorldTour team still without a win to its name in 2015 and will be hoping that Moreno Hofland can open its account at the race.
"This will be one of the first races in a long time that suits me well," Hofland said. "I'm really looking forward to it. I think that there will be a big crowd on the roads. That area seems to have cycling fever.
"I will try to fight for stage victories. My form is good at the moment, but I haven't been in a bunch sprint for a while. I'm curious to see what will happen."
While Hofland will challenge for stage wins, the team is also backing several riders to impress on the general classification as Verhoeven added.
"There won't be any pressure on the riders," Verhoeven said. "We will race for the win though. Steven should be able to deliver a good general classification, but the other riders will have their chance to go for that, too. It will be interesting to see how the young riders like Nick van der Lijke and Timo Roosen will react."
"We will do the best we can for Moreno in the sprints. It's tough to assess how hard the race will be, but I'm sure that two of the stages should suit Moreno."
LottoNL-Jumbo for Tour de Yorkshire: Moreno Hofland, Steven Kruijswijk, Nick van der Lijke, Barry Markus, Timo Roosen, Mike Teunissen, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.
BMC to Tour de Yorkshire
BMC also line up at the Tour de Yorkshire with a team capable of challenging for both stage wins and the general classification in Greg Van Avermaet and Samuel Sánchez. The winner of De Brabantse Pijl, Ben Hermans, will also be a threat throughout the race for BMC while neo-pro Rick Zabel will be a rider to watch for the bunch sprints.
Also selected for the race are Jempy Drucker, Klaas Lodewyck, Joey Rosskopf and Dylan Teuns
BMC for Tour de Yorkshire: Jempy Drucker, Ben Hermans, Klaas Lodewyck, Joey Rosskopf, Samuel Sánchez, Dylan Teuns, Greg Van Avermaet and Rick Zabel.
Madison Genesis announce debut Tour de Yorkshire team
British Continental team Madison Genesis have named its eight-rider team for the Tour de Yorkshire. New Zealander Tom Scully has been selected for the team having shown his form at the Tour de Normandie where he finished third overall. Tom Stewart, who won his weight in beer at the CiCLE Classic, has also been selected for the race.
Team manager Roger Hammond explained the race will be season highlight for his riders and all involved are looking forward to the first of the three stages.
"We've been really looking forward to the Tour de Yorkshire for a long time now and have been working hard to ensure we are ready to race on Friday in Bridlington," Hammond said. "I am extremely pleased with how the team has progressed this year with everyone going the extra mile in training; selecting the final eight riders has been very difficult, but in a good way."
"I'm confident that with the balance of climbers and rouleurs in the team led by the experience of Mark McNally, we will be ready for anything the beautiful (and demanding) Yorkshire countryside can throw at us! With the support of the fantastic Yorkshire crowds, I'm really looking forward to seeing the team step up to the challenge."
Madison Genesis for the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire: Erick Rowsell, Tom Scully, Tom Stewart, Liam Holohan, Tobyn Horton, Mike Northey, James McLaughlin and Mark McNally.
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Shoulder surgery for Poels
Team Sky's Wout Poels was one of several riders to crash at La Fleche Wallonne last Wednesday with Anthony Roux (FDJ) falling on top of the Dutchman after he found himself in a ditch on the side of the road. The initial diagnosis was that Poels had not broken anything although further investigation into his injuries found that he had broken a bone in his shoulder.
Poels was forced to withdraw from the Tour de Romandie due to his injury and tweeted that he hopes to be back on his bike soon.