Michael Matthews will return to defend his green jersey

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Team Sunweb have announced their line-up for the Tour de France, with Tom Dumoulin spear-heading the eight-man squad that also includes defending green jersey winner Michael Matthews.

Dumoulin will head to the race after finishing as runner-up to Chris Froome at the Giro d’Italia, with the Dutchman chasing general classification success at the French Grand Tour for the first time in his career.

Dumoulin will be able to rely on a strong team of domestiques, with Laurens Ten Dam – a late-call up to replace Wilco Kelderman who is out with an injured shoulder – and Chad Haga being the two men who will support Dumoulin at the Tour having also ridden the Giro.

While Dumoulin targets the general classification, Michael Matthews will be hoping to repeat his 2017 performance, which saw him win two stages on the way to wearing the green jersey in Paris.

Team coach Tom Veelers explained how Dumoulin’s presence in the race was as much about gaining experience for a future GC challenge as gaining a good result this time round.

>>> Tom Dumoulin going to Tour de France for ‘learning process’ rather than ‘great result’

“Whilst taking the first careful steps towards our future Tour de France GC ambitions, with the importance of learning and gaining experience this year, we’ll also go for day results on the uphill sprints,” Veelers explained.

“Primarily everyone’s responsibility is to keep Tom safe during each stage. Alongside Laurens [Ten Dam], we have Chad [Haga, Søren [Kragh Andersen], Michael [Matthews] and Simon [Geschke] as the guys to help out on the medium to difficult stages and Edward [Theuns] and Nikias [Arndt] on the flat stages.

“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. We want to get through that process with Tom this year without any pressure on results, creating the foundations to build on in the years to come.

“The parcours provide the perfect platform for an exciting race, and after achieving this year’s GC goal of a podium at the Giro, we’re very motivated to head to France and look forward to seeing what it brings this year.”

>>> Tour de France 2018 start list

Team Sunweb line-up for 2018 Tour de France

Søren Kragh Andersen
Nikias Arndt
Tom Dumoulin
Laurens Ten Dam
Simon Geschke
Chad Haga
Michael Matthews
Edward Theuns