Dutchman Robert Gesink left out of LottNL-Jumbo's Tour de France team as he recovers from Tour de Suisse crash injury
The Dutchman placed sixth in last year’s Tour behind winner Chris Froome (Sky), and would have spearheaded LottoNL-Jumbo’s assault on the overall classification.
Gesink crashed during stage two of the Tour de Suisse, and sustained a head injury. He abandoned the race and was taken to hospital for examination – LottoNL-Jumbo medical staff say that he has not recovered sufficiently to race in the Tour.
“I’ve put a lot of energy in my preparations for the Tour de France and I felt strong on Tenerife. It’s a big disappointment that I have to miss the Tour because of this setback,” Gesink said in a statement.
Instead of vying for the overall classification, the Dutch WorldTour team will now focus on individual stages.
“We want to win a stage,” said sports director Nico Verhoeven. “Wilco Kelderman is able to show off in the mountains and we have some men who have to be able to finish it off from the breakaway on the days that are too hard for the sprinters.”
Tour de Yorkshire winner Dylan Groenewegen has also been named in the team, and will make his Tour debut at the age of 23. He will be the team’s nominated rider for bunch sprints – although he will be there to gain experience rather than taking victories.
“Of course we want to deliver something beautiful in the Tour,” said Groenewegen. “But I shouldn’t expect myself to be able to win a stage, immediately. There are going to come a lot of chances for the sprinters in the first week, so I will focus on that part of the race. I have to see how it goes, afterwards. It would be nice if I’m able to finish the Tour so I can bring that experience to the upcoming seasons.”
The Tour de France starts in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday July 2 and finishes on Sunday, July 24, in Paris.
Team LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2016 Tour de France
George Bennett (NZl)
Dylan Groenewegen (Ned)
Wilco Kelderman (Ned)
Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned)
Paul Martens (Ger)
Timo Roosen (Ned)
Sep Vanmarcke (Bel)
Robert Wagner (Ger)
Maarten Wynants (Bel)