Wilco Kelderman starts next year as Team Sunweb leader in the Giro d'Italia. The 28-year-old rider hopes to return to the top five of a major lap after a year of bad luck.
"The Giro will be an important goal for me in 2020," said Kelderman on Tuesday at Team Sunweb's team presentation in Amsterdam. "It would be nice if I could have a season without bad luck. I hope to reach the level of the Vuelta of 2017, when I became fourth."
Kelderman (28) was scheduled for the Tour of Italy and the Tour of France in 2019, but due to a hard fall in the Tour of Catalonia he could not participate in the Giro.
The classification cyclist did the Tour, but was not yet top fit there and got off after the fifteenth stage. In the Tour of Spain, Kelderman finished seventh, his third top ten place in the Vuelta.
Sam Oomen must lead Sunweb in the Tour de France. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Oomen with a good recovery starts in Tour
Sam Oomen, the other classification rider from Sunweb, will basically start in the Tour de France. Then the recovery of the operation that he underwent last July to a trapped artery vein should go well.
The 24-year-old from Brabant would make his debut in the Tour this year, but due to Kelderman's injury, he started in the Giro as Dumoulin's foreman.
The climber sustained a fracture in his hip in Italy in the fourteenth stage. Subsequently, the number nine of the 2018 Giro decided to get help from his pinched artery, a problem that had been bothering him for some time. His season was therefore over.
Sunweb team boss Iwan Spekenbrink. (Photo: ANP)
Without Dumoulin, a big round win is not realistic
Team Sunweb has to do without Tom Dumoulin next year. De Limburger, who has been the showcase of the German formation in recent years, has switched to Jumbo-Visma.
"It is not a realistic goal for us to win a big round next year," said team boss Iwan Spekenbrink, whose team peaked in 2017 with the Giro victory from Dumoulin.
"We've had four different riders in the past who have finished in the top ten of a big lap and we have that potential in 2020 too. And we have a large group of young riders who can do well in the future in big rounds. "
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Sunweb wants to learn from disappointing 2019
2019 was, partly due to injuries to top riders, a bad year for Team Sunweb. The team only managed to win nine. "It was a disappointment," acknowledged Spekenbrink.
"But what matters is what you do with it. In top cycling you sometimes have big peaks, but also deep troughs. The crux is that you have to learn from the disappointments."
Team Sunweb attracted, among others, the Belgian Tiesj Benoot, a topper in the spring classics. "We really want to show ourselves next year in the classics," says Spekenbrink.
The German team also wants to become one of the best sprint teams in the peloton. With 24-year-old Dutchman Cees Bol and 29-year-old Australian Michael Matthews, the team has two good sprinters.