Vacansoleil names Tour squad
Vacansoleil-DCM has named its Tour de France team, with Kris Boeckmans set for his debut in the most famous of the grand tours.
The Dutch team’s multinational line-up has no obvious leader but Johnny Hoogerland is expected to contest for stage victories, while new Netherlands national time trial champion Lieuwe Westra - who won stage five of the Paris-Nice - is also a major feature.
Belgian Boeckmans, 25, makes his Tour de France debut after joining Vacansoleil for this season.
Kenny van Hummel, Wout Poels and Rob Ruijgh complete the Dutch contingent, with Sweden’s Paris-Nice stage winner Gustav Larsson, Italian Marco Marcato and Spaniard Rafael Valls also named in the nine-man squad.
Thomas de Gendt is not in the squad as he is due to get married this summer, so has opted to skip the tour.
The Belgian won stage 20 at this May’s Giro d’Italia, finishing third overall, and also won a stage at Paris-Nice.
It is Vacansoleil's second outing at the Tour de France.
"We’ve made another step forward," sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren said at the press conference at NAC Breda’s football stadium.
"That’s why our line-up is a little bit different in comparison with last year. During the Tour we would like to show our next improvement.
"The classifications and jerseys are not our main goals. We want to win a stage again, like we did in the Giro d’Italia and (last year) in the Vuelta."