Team LottoNL-Jumbo Sports Director Merijn Zeeman intends to get in the mix with his riders daily in the Critérium du Dauphiné, from June 7 to 14. Wilco Kelderman wants to prepare as well as possible for the Tour de France, which starts July 4 in Utrecht.
The 24-year-old Dutchman went on a three-week altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain. Last year, he finished fourth overall after having completed the Giro d’Itaila. This season he’ll ride the Dauphiné in the run-up to the Tour.
“Last year, the race was a like a desert for me, this time it’s about preparation,” Kelderman said. “That’s different of course. I don’t know how my shape is exactly, although I have been able to train properly in Spain.
“I’m aiming for a good result, but the most important thing is to end the race with a nice feeling. After the final stage, I still have three weeks before the start of the Tour. That is quite long.”
After the Dauphiné, he will remain in the Alps to train.
“We’re not completely focused on Wilco,” Zeeman explained. He will travel to France early this week to recon some Tour stages.
“Everyone is allowed to ride for his own chances. Martijn Keizer has a Giro in his legs and George Bennett should be able to perform on this course. The others are in shape, as well. We head into the race with ambitions to achieve a result every day. For that, we need to be aggressive.”
The 24.5-kilometre team time trial on day three needs extra attention. The team wants to improve itself “as there’s one in the Tour de France, as well,” Zeeman continued. “It is an important part of the race.
“Mathieu Heijboer is our TT specialist and he will be present in the Dauphiné to make sure the preparation runs as smoothly as possible. This week we have TTT training scheduled in Holland as well.”
George Bennett, Brian Bulgac, Jos van Emden, Martijn Keizer, Wilco Kelderman, Bram Tankink, Dennis van Winden & Maarten Wynants.
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