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"If the stages in Picardie end with a bunch sprint, and everyone is still on board, we will aim for the stage win with Belgian champion Jens Debusschere. This race is ideal for him as preparation for the Belgium Tour later this month.&...

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - PERI

BORIS VALLÉE

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JASPER DE BUYST

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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KENNY DE HAES

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TOUR DE PICARDIE

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14.05.2015 @ 14:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This week eight Lotto Soudal riders head to the north of France where the three-day stage race Tour de Picardie (Europe Tour) takes place form Friday 15th until Sunday 17th May.

 

The three stages, which could all end with a bunch sprint, have a distance between 160 and 190 kilometres. Friday’s stage finishes with three local laps of about twenty kilometres, so the teams will know the final really well. The next day there is one local lap at the end of 17.5 kilometres. The last part of the stage is slightly uphill. The last stage is the longest one and there are four short climbs on the route. The last climb is 1.4 kilometres long and has an average gradient of 6.3%. The top is located 14.5 kilometres from the finish. Riders could use this ascent for a late attack.

 

“For Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere and Marcel Sieberg this will be the first race after a rest period after the spring classics," sports director Frederik Willems said. "If the stages in Picardie end with a bunch sprint, and everyone is still on board, we will aim for the stage win with Belgian champion Jens Debusschere. This race is ideal for him as preparation for the Belgium Tour later this month, the same goes for Tiesj Benoot.

 

“With Boeckmans, De Buyst, Sieberg and Vallée we have a strong train to lead Jens to the victory. We don’t plan to take control of the race right from the beginning. Gert Dockx is someone who could join a breakaway. In the final we will take our responsibility when there is a sprint. It’s possible there will be echelons, when it splits we have to make sure we are strongly represented in front. Many guys in the selection are used to the Flemish races, have the experience and like echelons, so that’s an advantage.”

 

“My last race was the Grand Prix de Denain on 16th April," Benoot said. "After that I took five days of rest before I started to train for the second part of the season. I also used this period to let those first months as neo-pro sink in. In the beginning of July I have an exam, the past weeks I studied for it as well.

 

“My training camp in Tuscany has just come to an end, I stayed there for almost two weeks. It was nice to train in good weather, I climbed a lot. My condition is good. In Picardie I’ll have to get back in the race rhythm. Via the World Ports Classic I’ll make my way to the Belgium Tour. Last year I rode La Côte Picarde with the national U23 team. The wind could be an important factor in this region, so we’ll have to be attentive.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, Marcel Sieberg and Boris Vallée.

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