Dutch Tour de France team announced
The Netherlands-based cycling team sponsored by Belkin has announced the selection of their Tour de France cyclists earlier this week. Seven Dutch will travel to the starting line in Leeds, England where this year's Tour begins.
Bauke Molleman was added to the formation after finishing in sixth position last year. Laurents ten Dam, who finished 13th last year has been given the same role of staying behind Mollema for as long as possible, he will not be sacrificed even if he gets into the top ranking by doing so.
The remaining Dutch, racing for the team are Lars Boom, Stef Clement, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer and Bram Tankink. The team will be completed with Belgians Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants. Kruijswijk stood at the starting line of the Tour de Italy but had to leave the race in the ninth round after a crash left him with a shoulder injury.
There are no newcomers in the Belkin formation compared to last year where they had two. Robert Gesink and Lars Nordhaug did not make the cut this year. Even though Gesink is back riding the bike, it is too soon for him to race again since his heart surgery, a result of cardiac arrhythmia he suffered from for years.
Team leader Nico Verhoeven's hopes are on Mollema and Ten Dam. "We want to come as close to last year’s results."
The kick off for the Tour de France is Saturday, July 5.
It will be the second and final Tour for banner sponsor Belkin which recently announced their intention to leave cycling after this season.