Despite the fact Team Sunweb rides under a German licence, it still feels very much like a Dutch team. That’s mainly because there are a lot of Dutch riders on their teams. In particular, there are several Dutchmen in key positions on the UCI World Tour men’s team. The men’s team has its eye on success in the Grand Tours and the classics in the 2019 road racing season — so we think it’s high time to have a closer look at these key riders.
Tom Dumoulin has been the most successful Dutch stage racer of recent years. His victory in the Giro d’Italia 2017 and his second place in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2018 illustrate what a good rider he is. Dumoulin is also a master of the time trial. This year he’s set his sights on victory in the Giro. In order to prepare for the race, he’s riding the Tirreno–Adriatico, Milan–San Remo and Liège–Bastogne–Liège.
Tom Dumoulin at the team’s winter training camp in Spain. Photo: Cor Vos
Michael Matthews has been riding for Team Sunweb since 2017 and is a guy who knows how to win a sprint. But he’s also a rider who performs well in the classics. He’s good on the flat as well as on shorter climbs. His list of victories includes numerous stage victories in the Tour de France, the Giro and the Tour of Spain. In 2019, Matthews came back from injury to win the two Canadian classics at the end of the season. In 2019, we’ll see him on Belgian and Dutch roads, from the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on. He’ll also ride the Tour de France for the fifth time in 2019.
Michael Matthews training in Spain. Photo: Cor Vos
At 27, Wilco Kelderman has reached the age when it’s time to reap his just rewards in the various Grand Tours. In 2017, we already got a foretaste of what he can do when he won fourth place in the General Classification in the Tour of Spain. Kelderman suffered a lot from injuries in the 2018 season. We hope he’ll be able to show us what he’s really worth in 2019. He’ll initially focus on the Giro, but will also ride the Tour de France. His Giro preparations will include riding the Paris–Nice and the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. He’ll be Tom Dumoulin’s right-hand man in the Giro.
In 2018, Sam Oomen got a taste of what is likely to come for him. He achieved an impressive ninth place in the General Classification of the Giro d’Italia. In 2019, he’ll get the chance to show what he’s worth in the Tour de France. He’s been given the green light to focus on the Tour (in contrast to some other riders). No Giro for him. In preparing for the Tour, he’ll be in the mix in a number of races such as the Brabantse Pijl, the Amstel Gold Race, the Waalse Pijl, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Criterium de Dauphiné.
Sam Oomen relaxing in Spain. The hard work is about to begin. Photo: Cor Vos
Roche is a newcomer to Team Sunweb in 2019. In the previous four years he’s ridden for Team Sky and BMC. He’s ridden solid classifications in various major races. His high point was fifth place in the Tour of Spain in 2013. His role in 2019 will be to support Tom Dumoulin to get a high general classification in the Giro d’Italia. He is the son of Tour de France winner Stephen Roche.
Nicolas Roche riding support for Richie Porte during the 2018 Vuelta. Photo: Cor Vos