Wilco Kelderman will ride in the colours of Giant-Alpecin, to be known as Giant-Sunweb in 2017 and 2018, bolstering the general classification ambitions of the team. The 25-year-old will join Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil as the team's GC riders and is aiming to further develop with the team after five seasons with LottoNL-Jumbo.
"I am very pleased to join Team Giant-Alpecin, taking the next step in my career. The team allows me to grow towards a role as a leader for the Grand Tours, using a gradual approach," Kelderman said in a statement from the team on the deal.
Kelderman's seventh place overall at the 2014 Giro d'Italia was an early sign of his grand tour potential but he is yet to repeat a top-ten result in the three-week races due to a series of injuries. Kelderman explained the offer Giant-Alpecin placed on the table was an attractive one and believes the new team is the right place in which he can further develop and grow as a grand tour rider.
"They are successful with their philosophy, with an emphasis on science and technology, like the focus on being experts in time trial performance, for example. I can learn from the experience they have, as well as from guys like Tom [Dumoulin] and Michael [Matthews], who are from the same generation and having paved the road for me," he added.
While Kelderman is yet to win a race in 2016, he has enjoyed wearing the leader's jerseys at WorldTour stage races Tour de Suisse and Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and finished top-ten overall at both races. Kelderman also recorded fourth overall at the Ruta del Sol, and second at the Tour du Poitou Charentes having placed second in the time trials of both races.
While Kelderman has already put together a palmares worthy of a rider's career, team movement scientist Adriaan Helmantel believes there is still plenty to come and is looking forward to overseeing that development.
"We are delighted to sign Wilco. He has huge GC potential with strong TT and climbing skills, and he's already raced to seventh at the Giro at the super young age of 23, showing there's a large margin to keep growing," said Helmantel. " We believe he has the qualities to become a very good GC rider and we will take time and an easy approach to gradually make the best out of his abilities."
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