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Kruijswijk extends contract with LottoNL – Jumbo

The Dutch rider nearly won the Giro d'Italia this season after wearing the pink jersey for five days in Italy.

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Steven Kruijswijk has extended his contract with LottoNL – Jumbo for two years, it was announced Friday.

The Dutch rider nearly won the Giro d’Italia in May, wearing the pink jersey for five days before losing it on stage 19 and ultimately placing fourth. He was 1:50 out of first and finished 33 seconds behind third-place rider Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.

Kruijswijk’s season also includes a fifth-place finish at the Tour de Yorkshire.

“I am very pleased with the prospect of racing the next two years at Team LottoNL – Jumbo,” Kruijswijk said in a team release. “The team has an ambitious plan towards 2018 with the sprint train and the support for the classification riders in the team. I am confident that we can realize these ambitions together.

“This is the sports coaching, technical and support staff of the team, I would like to work with. The last Giro d’Italia confirmed my thoughts and gave me great confidence for the future.”

LottoNL sport director Nico Verhoeven said Kruijswijk sets a “fine example” on the squad.

“Steven is a fine example of the talent in our team,” Verhoeven said. “Steven showed what he is capable of in the last Giro with his amazing performance. We are proud that he has confidence in our plan with the support for the classification riders in the team.”

Kruijswijk is not racing at the Tour de France and is instead doing some altitude training in Andorra ahead of the Olympics and the Vuelta a Espana.

“After that, we make plans for the next season,” Verhoeven said.