“We have men to fight for wins on a daily basis,” said Elijzen. “Starting with the prologue. Robert Wagner won last season’s edition, and has set his sights on the opening day again this year. Furthermore, we have Theo Bos for the sprint stages, and with some strong supporting men, we can surprise through an escape. Paul Martens is a contender for the difficult stage to La Gileppe that dips into Belgium. He could also do well in the overall, when we deliver in the stages that comes by itself.”
Last year’s winner, Lars Boom, is not starting, but Martens, second in last weekend’s Ronde van Limburg, is looking forward to the Ster ZLM Toer.
“For me, the stage to La Gileppe is an interesting one. Since I’ve known I’m going to ride this race, I have had that stage in my head,” Martens said. “There’s also a nice challenge to assist Theo in the sprints as a team. We have shown to have a good train, and we like to battle the top sprinters in the race.”
Gesink’s comeback delayed
The Ster ZLM Toer was planned as Robert Gesink’s first race since the treatment for cardiac arrhythmia, but after a spill during altitude training in Spain’s Sierra Nevada, he is again building his form, and not yet fully prepared. Gesink has problems with his hip and abductors, and doesn’t want to force things. He’ll shift his focus to races soon to come.
Jetse Bol, Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Jos van Emden, Rick Flens, Paul Martens, Maarten Tjallingii and Robert Wagner.
Sports Director: Michiel Elijzen.