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"On our side, we have riders like Dries Devenyns and Thomas Degand, both of whom won’t only be racing at home, but are also fond of a parcours like this."

Photo: IAM Cycling










21.07.2015 @ 20:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In the world of cycling, the month of July does not necessarily revolve around France and the yellow jersey.  While the Tour de France indeed occupies a prominent place on the international stage of cycling at this time of year, additional races like the Tour of Wallonia also offer intense racing and have the merit of drawing many stars from the peloton. 


This year sixteen teams will compete, nine of which come from the WorldTour.  The Belgian race will enjoy a strong field including Tom Boonen, Gianni Meersman, last year’s winner, as well as Philippe Gilbert.  IAM Cycling will also be bringing a strong contingent that will be very active between Wanze and Thuin.


“The list of participants is quite impressive,” Pirmin Lang explained.  “You almost have the feeling that the Tour de France isn’t even happening at the same time.  The teams are very strong, the stages will be beautiful and difficult, and so it promises to be a very open race. 


"On our side, we have riders like Dries Devenyns and Thomas Degand, both of whom won’t only be racing at home, but are also fond of a parcours like this.  And then, we can also count on Jérôme Pineau or Jonas Van Genechten for those days with a slightly more lenient profile. 


"My job will be to help my teammates, and get them as well positioned as possible so they can be successful.  I’ll also be happy to get into some breakaways.”


Before crossing the finish line at the top of the wall-like climb in Thuin, the 122 riders who are scheduled to race in Belgium will travel the country from east to west, notably passing through the Citadel of Namur, the Côte de Fraiture climb near Liège, as well as the Côte de la Vecquée.  So many challenges will certainly complicate the race more than a little. 


“What is special about the climbs in Wallonia is that once you get to the top of a hill, there is no descent that follows, so there is no chance to rest and recover,” Lang explained.  “Generally you end up on a plateau, and you just have to keep hammering.  The climbs are not very long usually, but they are very steep and fast. 


"To do well in this race, you must have two essential qualities: endurance and explosiveness.  I have been home training since racing the Swiss Championships, and I have been particularly working on these two points so that I will be in good condition for Wallonia.”    



Thomas Degand (Bel)

Dries Devenyns (Bel)

Pirmin Lang (S)

Simon Pellaud (S)

Jérôme Pineau (F)

Jonas Van Genechten (Bel)

Patrick Schelling (S)



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