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"The Tour de Picardie was a race to get back in the rhythm, but the Belgium Tour is a real goal. I aim for a stage win and also want to get a high overall ranking. The overall victory is a goal, but not an obsession."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BELGIUM TOUR

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JASPER DE BUYST

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JELLE WALLAYS

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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STIG BROECKX

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TIESJ BENOOT

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24.05.2016 @ 20:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal have announced their line-up for the Baloise Belgium Tour.

 

With Tiesj Benoot and Jens Debusschere, there are two Classics riders in the Lotto Soudal team who had their share of bad luck this spring, by crashing at the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem respectively. Both got back in competition at the Tour de Picardie and hope to perform well in their own country.

 

Tiesj Benoot said: 

 

“This spring I really felt like I had made a step forward and felt that I was ready for the Ronde, Roubaix and Amstel. Then I crashed in the Ronde. It was hard mentally, because I knew I was strong enough but I couldn’t ride the finales due to that crash and its consequences.

 

"After the Amstel I had a short holiday and then I did a training camp in Italy, together with Jens Debusschere, to get ready for this time of the year. The Tour de Picardie was a race to get back in the rhythm, but the Belgium Tour is a real goal. I aim for a stage win and also want to get a high overall ranking. The overall victory is a goal, but not an obsession.

 

“The stages on Friday and Saturday really suit me. Riders who want to set a good overall result will need to be strong on Saturday. Of course it’s best not to lose much time in the prologue, but on the other hand a god time trialist who can’t follow the best riders on Saturday, won’t win the GC either. Nonetheless, the past weeks I did some tests and worked on my position on the time trial bike. I know I can still make progress and I hope that I can show tomorrow that my training of the last weeks has already helped.

 

"But as I said, Saturday will be an important stage. It’s a very tough stage, we did a recon with the team last weekend. All those hills will hurt. I expect that riders like Tony Martin, Enrico Gasparotto, Wout Van Aert and Lieuwe Westra will be good.

 

“The next four weeks are very important with the Belgium Tour, Tour de Suisse and Belgian Championships on the calendar. Last year I rode the Dauphiné, but now I will ride in Switzerland because there are several finales that match my profile. In the Dauphiné it are stages for sprinters or climbers. The road race at the Belgian Championships is a goal as well, but first let’s do it well at the Belgium Tour.”

 

Jens Debusschere said: 

 

“I fractured two transverse processes in my back when I crashed in Ghent-Wevelgem. I needed to rest three weeks long. The Tour de Picardie was my first race, seven weeks after the crash. I didn’t have the best feeling yet. Each sprint I noticed I wasn’t in top shape yet. I had trained hard just before Picardie, afterwards I took enough rest to get the best condition for the Belgium Tour.

 

"The second and third stage suit me. Thursday it will very likely be a bunch sprint and on Friday it’s a stage in the Flemish Ardennes. What happens on Sunday will depend on how tiring the stage on Saturday was. In Picardie Boeckmans, De Buyst and Sieberg did a very strong lead-out three times. If they do the same now that would be fantastic, then it’s up to me to finish it off.”

 

Line-up Lotto Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Stig Broeckx, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Marcel Sieberg and Jelle Wallays.

Sports directors: Herman Frison and Marc Wauters.

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