The Dutch Rabobank squad was the first team to announce its Tour de France roster on Monday. Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema will lead the team into Liège, Belgium for the race’s Grand Départ on June 30.
“(Gesink has) shown that he’s going well. His time trial was also outstanding. We hope that he’ll continue along the same lines. We will just have to see how it all goes, especially given that the GC riders from the Dauphiné are going to be there too”, said team director Nico Verhoeven. “Still, we’re aiming for solid GC standings for both Robert and Bauke Mollema.”
Steven Kruijswijk will make his Tour debut and is a third potential rider for the overall and will hunt the best young rider’s jersey.
One of the sport’s most active stage hunters, Luis León Sanchez, will go after his fourth career Tour stage win. Laurens Ten Dam, who battled through a gruesome facial injury to finish the 2011 Tour, is back as well.
“Laurens showed in Switzerland that he’ll be fully be able to carry out the role that we would like to see him play in the Tour de France,” said Verhoeven.
Mark Renshaw will take on the top sprinter’s role, but will largely act as a free agent, with threesome of classics riders able to position him ahead of the final leadout. Bram Tankink, Maarten Tjallingii and Maarten Wynants make up the balance of the nine-man roster.
“Even without a proper leadout, Renshaw is excellent at positioning himself and finishing top five in bunch sprints,” said Verhoeven. “Furthermore, Mark has shown that he is a team player and is of enormous value to the team.”
Rabobank 2012 Tour de France roster
Laurens ten Dam
Luis Leon Sanchez
Directors: Nico Verhoeven, Adri van Houwelingen en Frans Maassen.