Three Dutch teams to compete in Tour de France
The Hague, June 21 (IANS) Dutch cycling teams Vacansoleil, Rabobank and Argos this week announced their squad and goals for the Tour de France, which starts June 30 in Liege, Belgium and ends July 22 in Paris.
Vacansoleil was the last team to present its nine names Thursday. Johnny Hoogerland, Lieuwe Westra, Rob Ruijgh, Kenny van Hummel and Wout Poels are the selected Dutch riders and Kris Boeckmans (Belgium), Gustav Larsson (Sweden), Marco Marcato (Italy) and Rafael Valls (Spain) complete the list, reported Xinhua.
Hoogerland, Westra, Marcato, Valls, Ruijgh and Larsson will go for the adventure in breakaways, while Boeckmans and Van Hummel will try their luck in the sprints. Poels is Vacansoleil's main rider for the general classification (GC).
"Our first goal for the Tour is to win a stage of course," team leader Hilaire Van der Schueren said. "With Van Hummel and Boeckmans in the sprints and also Poels in the mountain stages, we certainly have a chance."
Team Rabobank announced its squad earlier this week. They have more ambitions in the general classification with Dutch Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema as leaders and Steven Kruijswijk as reserve leader.
The 26-year-old Gesink finished fourth overall at the Tour de Suisse last week and won the Tour of California in May.
"Gesink has shown that he's going well," said team leader Nico Verhoeven in a statement. "His time trial was also outstanding. We hope that he'll continue along the same lines. We will just have to see how it all goes. Still, we're aiming for solid GC standings for both Robert and Bauke Mollema."
Bram Tankink, Laurens ten Dam and Maarten Tjallingii are the other Dutchmen in the Rabobank squad, while sprinter Mark Renshaw (Australia), Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain) and Maarten Wynants (Belgium) are the other riders.
The ProContinental team Argos-Shimano built its team around German sprinter Marcel Kittel. The squad also includes Dutchmen Tom Veelers, Koen de Kort, Roy Curvers and Albert Timmer, Germans Johannes Frohlinger and Patrick Gretsch and Matthieu Sprick and Yann Huguet from France.
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