Team Sunweb was dealt a hefty blow in the lead-up to the Tour de France, with the announcement that last year's runner-up at the Tour, Tom Dumoulin, would not be riding the race.
Dumoulin, 28, suffered a setback during recovery from a knee injury that forced him to abandon the Giro d’Italia last month, also causing the Dutchman to miss significant training in the lead-up to the French Grand Tour.
Team Sunweb’s Tour de France coach Aike Visbeek discussed how the team would operate in the 2019 edition of the Tour.
“This year our focus at the Tour de France will be to go for stage success throughout the race," said Visbeek. "We have been in this situation before when we have had to change from a GC goal to focusing on stage results and I am confident we can do well again.”
“We’ll have opportunities for good results with Michael in the sprint stages and reduced bunch sprints. Nikias will be our captain and with Giro stage winner Chad, we bring extra power for the both the TTT and TT. With Wilco, Nicholas and Søren we aim for opportunities in the more difficult hilly and mountain stages.”
“We are also happy and proud that we bring two talented debutants to this year’s Tour with Lennard and Cees. Lennard has showed both in lead out work and in the mountains that he is very strong and with him we are aiming to make the next step in his development.
"Cees has made big steps this spring with several victories, but maybe even more impressive has been his dedication to working in a support role on different occasions. Cees will get the opportunity to gain more experience and develop at what is the highest level.”
Team Sunweb squad: Michael Matthews, Cees Bol, Lennard Kamna, Nicholas Roche, Wilco Kelderman, Chad Haga, Nikias Arndt, Soren Kragh Andersen.