Team Sunweb to keep challenging in 2020 despite loss of Dumoulin
Matthews, Benoot, Rivera and Mackaij lead men's and women's WorldTour squads
Team Sunweb (opens in new tab) have held their 2020 team presentation in Amsterdam, showing off the full rosters of their men's and women's WorldTour teams and their development team as they try to move on from the loss of Tom Dumoulin (opens in new tab) as team leader and Grand Tour contender.
Team Sunweb confirmed they will have the same red and black colours for the new season, with what they describe as the 'Keep Challenging' stripes. BinckBank has been added on the shorts as a minor sponsor, with Sunweb Holidays splashed down the side of the jersey so that everyone knows what the title sponsors does.
The race clothing is made by Craft, and the team will again ride Cervelo bikes in 2020.
The presentation was held in the 'House of Mobility' experience centre created by Cervelo's parent company Pons, to show off all forms of transport.
The men's Team Sunweb squad won just nine races in 2019, with Michael Matthews saving face by taking a second consecutive win at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Nikias Arndt taking a stage win at the Vuelta a España. Dumoulin raced just 27 days, with his crash during the first week of the Giro d'Italia and subsequent knee injury wrecking his season and ending his relationship with the team.
The loss of Tom Dumoulin leaves Team Sunweb without a proven Grand Tour contender, with Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen expected to step up in 2020.
Kelderman confirmed he will target the Giro d'Italia in 2020, while Oomen is looking to make a full recovery after undergoing iliac artery surgery in the summer.
Matthews stands out as team leader after the Dumoulin was allowed to break his contract and move to Jumbo-Visma. The Australian will again target the Classics and sprint stages, along with new signing Tiesj Benoot, who joins from Lotto Soudal.
Team Sunweb is registered as a German team, with Nico Denz and Jasha Sütterlin joining from AG2R La Mondiale and Movistar, respectively.
The likes of Søren Kragh Andersen, who has been handed a new three-year deal, is also part of strengthened Classics unit, while European under-23 champion Alberto Dainese of Italy leads another influx of young talent along with Britain's Mark Donovan, Martin Salmon of Germany. Several key members of staff have also moved on, sparking the arrival of Britain's Steve Benton, Dajo Sanders and Camiel Dénis.
The USA's Coryn Rivera again leads the women's team with Canada's Alison Jackson joining from Team Tibco. Lucinda Brand has already completed her move to Trek-Segafredo.
Team Sunweb seemed to acknowledge they face an uphill battle in 2020, posting a motivational video and tweeting during the team presentation: "We all face difficulties and challenges in our everyday lives. It is how we face and overcome those challenges that make us."
"The 2019 season did not turn out as we expected but with the women's team became the second best team in the world," team manager Iwan Spekenbrink said during the presentation, highlighting the team's strengths while downgrading hopes for Grand Tour success in 2020.
"We still have ambition in Grand Tours but it's not realistic to expect that we can win in the coming year. We want to show ourselves in the Classics and we want to be successful in the sprints and we want to have the best sprint train.
"Without wanting to sound arrogant: our development team is perhaps the most successful training team in the world. Seven of our riders are going up into the WorldTour and we even had the world champion among the promises at least for a moment," Spekenbrink added, referring to Nils Eekhoff, who was disqualified after winning the under-23 World Championships in Yorkshire for drafting behind his team car.
We all face difficulties and challenges in our everyday lives. It is how we face and overcome those challenges that make us who we are. 💪🏻Always #KeepChallenging. pic.twitter.com/z4iBMZSaPSDecember 10, 2019
We're proud to present our 2020 roster onto the stage in their new @CraftSportswear kit. 👏🏻One team, one goal.#KeepChallenging pic.twitter.com/ApVvTzP18mDecember 10, 2019
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