LottoNL-Jumbo announced Friday the signing of Jurgen van den Broeck for two seasons, which will take him through the end of 2018. The Belgian climber was hired in a support role for the team’s overall contenders Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk in the Grand Tours.
"I'm glad to sign this two-year contract with team LottoNL-Jumbo," Van den Broeck said. "The framework of the team gives me a great feeling. It’s a beautiful environment to work in. That motivates me. I noticed that they’re working on every detail, from the training camps to the material and the nutrition."
Gesink has struggled in the last two seasons with injury and family emergencies. Most recently he crashed out of the Tour de Suisse and was forced to skip the Tour de France, however, LottoNl-Jumbo has shown support for their Grand Tour contender into the next year. He began racing again at the Tour de l’Ain last week and will start the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.
Kruijswijk had a break out year at the Giro d’Italia where he had four podium finishes in stage 4 to Praia a Mare, stage 14 to Cividale del Fruili, stage 15 time trial to Alpe di Siusi and stage 16 to Andalo. While leading the overall classification, however, the he crashed on the descent of the Coll dell'Agnello, where he ran into a snow bank and lost more than a minute to his overall rivals. The team confirmed he had fractured a rib but he finished the Italian Grand Tour in fourth place. He will lead LottoNl-Jumbo at the Vuelta.
Van den Broeck said he hopes to play a role in Kruijswijk's future success in the Grand Tours while also performing well himself in the Ardennes Classics.
"My specific target will be to support Steven Kruijswijk in the Giro d'Italia," he said. "Besides that, I want to deliver the team some beautiful results in the smaller stage races and the Ardennes classics."
Van den Broeck has had a strong career as one of the top climbers with top-10 overall places in the Tour de France (2010 and 2012), the Giro d'Italia (2008) and Vuelta a Espana (2011). He's also finished third overall at the Volta a Catalunya, Criterium du Dauphine.
"Jurgen van den Broeck, firstly, comes to support our overall riders Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk in the Grand Tours," Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. "His first target will be the Giro d'Italia with Steven Kruijswijk.
"Jurgen has a strong record and proved to be able to deliver superbly in grand tours. He rode many of them in the past and that makes him an absolute value for our team in our grand tour planning towards 2017 and 2018.
Van den Broeck joins LottoNL-Jumbo after a season with Katusha. Before that he raced for versions of teams Lotto Soudal, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Silence Lotto and Discovery Channel.
"With Katusha, he was the lieutenant of the team's leader and that makes him an interesting rider for us. He has the drive to come to our team in that role. Besides that, he will get his chance in the smaller stage races and the Ardennes Classics."