Tour Down Under: Robert Gesink to lead LottoNL-Jumbo at 2017 WorldTour opener

LottoNL-Jumbo have confirmed Robert Gesink will leads its ambitions at next month's Tour Down Under in Australia. The Dutchman has ridden the WorldTour race on just one previous occasion, finishing sixth overall, and will be aiming for another high result.

The seven-man team for the Tour Down Under will also contest the newly elevated WorldTour one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong on January 29.

Gesink is building his season around Tour de France stage win success in July and will also look for success at the Tour of California, a race he won in 2012. Having crashed out of the Tour de Suisse with a head injury that saw him miss the Tour de France this season, Gesink bounced back with a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana and seventh at Il Lombardia. 

The 30-year-old will be joined by fellow Vuelta stage winner Bert-Jan Lindeman for the January 17-22 race, which also features the January 15 People's Choice Classic warm up criterium. American neo-pro Alexey Vermeulen will make his racing debut on Australian soil, as will 23-year-old Koen Bouwman. 

Enrico Battaglin will return to the Tour Down Under having posted two top-ten results at the 2016 edition of the race, along with ninth at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The 27-year-old Italian will lead the fast finishing options for the team which is finalised by German Robert Wagner and Dutchman Paul Martens.

LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2017 Tour Down Under: Robert Gesink, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Enrico Battaglin, Alexey Vermeulen, Robert Wagner, Koen Bouwman and Paul Martens.

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