Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their long list for the 2018 edition of the Tour de France. The pre-selection includes a wealth of talent and experience as Team Sunweb head to France to make the first step in gaining experience in riding for the GC at La Grande Boucle, as well as aiming for stage results in the uphill sprints.
Tour de France coach Tom Veelers said: “We have pre-selected a strong group of riders who are all capable of going to the Tour. We have two goals for this year’s Tour de France; we will make the first careful step in exploring our future GC ambitions and we will aim for stage results in the difficult sprint stages. As the world champions, the TTT is a stage that we have already highlighted and we will look for a solid result there. We’ve never been to the Tour de France with a GC focus and it will be a completely new experience for us and a long-term challenge that we are looking forward to.
“The parcours are demanding this year. The first week will be an extremely hectic one, with stages near to the coast, lots of narrow roads, the TTT, two uphill finishes, ending with the Roubaix cobble stage. The second week features summit finishes, short explosive stages, sprint opportunities and rolling terrain before the final mountain showdowns and an ITT ahead of the closing stage in Paris.”
Dumoulin commented: “I am very proud of what we’ve already achieved at the Giro and I consider any result that we can take at the Tour de France a bonus for this season. My season so far has been focused on the Giro and the team purposely waited to the make the decision about the Tour until after the Giro had finished. After a good Giro we’ve chosen to go to the Tour with a GC focus, to learn without a specific result in mind. Doing two consecutive grand tours for a GC will be a new experience for me and the team, and will give us some valuable insights for the future.”
Matthews said: “Last year we had a perfect Tour de France with four stage wins and two jerseys. Taking the green jersey to Paris was a dream come true for me. This year my primary focus will be to support the team’s GC objective and in the uphill sprint stages I will be the team’s designated rider for the finale. We had a very good training block in Livigno and we’ll head to the Tour de Suisse on Thursday to put in the last bit of intensity before July.”
Trainer Adriaan Helmantel explained: “The Giro was our main goal with Tom this year. We’ve managed to finish on the podium for two years in a row which is an extraordinary result. We’ve monitored his condition coming out of the Giro and have used this to finalise his program for the upcoming period, maintaining a focus on learning and development for the long term. We will go to the Tour de France to make the first step in exploring our bigger GC ambition for the future. We want to get through that process with Tom this year, without any pressure on results and to create the foundations to build on for the years to come.
“We’ve considered going to the Vuelta, which he can start slightly fresher, but the learning argument for the long-term at the Tour is more significant to us. It’s new for the team and of course it’s possible that he will have a tough second or third week, but even if this happens we will still consider this a successful process. We will have learned, acquired data and new knowledge, which will be favourable to our future GC ambitions at the Tour de France and the development of our riders.”
After some good rest Dumoulin restarts training, and next week leaves for altitude camp to train at La Plagne, France – from where he and the team can also do recons of the key TDF stages.
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Phil Bauhaus (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Laurens ten Dam (NED)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Mike Teunissen (NED)
Edward Theuns (BEL)