Steven Kruijswijk to target 100th Giro d'Italia
Steven Kruijswijk will once again be the team's bet for the Giro d'Italia and Robert Gesink is to ride for stage wins in the Tour de France
Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo has announced its ambitions for 2017.
Kruijswijk came close to winning the Giro d'Italia in 2016 but a bad crash on stage 19 had him drop to fourth place after Nibali attacked on the decent. In the Vuelta a España, he hit a low pole near a stage finish and was forced to abandon the race. He sees new opportunities in 2017.
"Because of my crash in the Vuelta, my season ended quickly and I started my winter differently. Right now, I'm on schedule for the Giro. My season starts in February. After the Giro in May, I'm going to focus on the Vuelta, where I also want to go for the general classification," he explained.
One of the biggest issues for Kruijswijk in the Giro was the lack of support from his teammates. He believes that the team has made good investments to improve that situation.
"In my opinion, the team brought in a number of riders who can assist me in the Giro. Stef Clement and Jurgen Van den Broeck will be important riders for me. Therefore they ride almost the same programme and they go with me altitude training. Also, the rest of the Giro team will often race with me and train with me."
Robert Gesink appears to confirm his move from being a General Classification rider to having become an attacking rider aiming for stage wins.
"I really want to win a Tour de France stage and with the whole team, we want to go for it," he said. "The last few years were really an eye-opener for me. The Tour in 2015 and the Vuelta in 2016 gave me the feeling that there is still much to do. I’m looking forward to going for stage wins in the upcoming Tour. I’m going back to my roots of offensive racing and going for it."
LottoNL-Jumbo's third big card to play in 2017 is youngster Dylan Groenewegen. Having gained confidence from his 2016 campaign, the sprinter is determined to continue on this path.
"It makes sense to continue with this project. We will have a beautiful addition to the train with Lars Boom, who is an ideal rider for that role. He can direct the train well, and knows how to put us in position and to put out big watts."
"The major goals in 2017 are the Dutch Championship and the Tour again. I would love to keep my red-white-blue top another year and show it in the Tour de France against the world's top sprinters. In the Eneco Tour, I showed that I can beat them."