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by Shane Stokes
January 3, 2018
Following criticism, Aru’s Italian champion’s jersey to be redesigned; Pozzovivo and Izagirre brothers to spearhead Bahrain-Merida squad in Santos Tour Down Under; Team LottoNL-Jumbo lineup announced for Santos Tour Down Under; Bevin out of New Zealand nationals due to crash; De Clercq out for months after severe training crash; Mitchelton-BikeExchange take over backing of Mitchelton-Scott Continental team; Video: 2018 season: UAE Team Emirates is ready; Video: Peter Sagan – Training Camp With Bora-hansgrohe 2018; Video: Helen Wyman speaks about her new team; Video: Behind You – Cycling Motivation
Also confirmed for the Santos Tour Down Under is the seven-rider LottoNL-Jumbo lineup. Robert Gesink will return to a race he has shone in in the past, completing a comeback after fracturing vertebra at last year’s Tour de France.
“Gesink has had two top ten general classification results at the TDU, eighth in 2017 and sixth in 2014,” said race director Mike Turtur. “So it will be interesting to see what his return to racing will deliver in terms of GC aspirations and results.”
Gesink’s career results include overall victories in the Tours of California and Oman, a stage win in the Vuelta a Espana, wins in the GP Montreal and GP Quebec, as well as fifth and sixth overall in the Tour de France plus sixth in the Vuelta a España.
Also on the team is the New Zealander George Bennett, who won last year’s Amgen Tour of California and who impressed greatly in the Tour de France until he became ill and had to withdraw. The squad will be completed by Maarten Wynants (Belgium), Robert Wagner (Germany), Enrico Battaglin (Italy), Daan Oliver (Netherlands) and Tom Leezer (Netherlands).