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"We aim for a stage win with André Greipel. There is a lot of competition between the sprinters, but the past twelve months André has proven to still be able to perform on the important moments."

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DI MEO / ZENNARO

ADAM HANSEN

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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GREGORY HENDERSON

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TONY GALLOPIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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23.06.2016 @ 17:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal will go into the Tour de France with a team fully devoted to André Greipel. The German sprint star will be supported by his best lead-out train ever as Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere, Marcel Sieberg and Adam Hansen will all be on hand to set him up for the sprints.

 

After his four stage wins at last year's Tour de France and three victories at the recent Giro d'Italia, André Greipel will have almost a full team at his disposal at the Tour de France. Today Lotto Soudal announced their line-up which is almost made up purely of riders from his lead-out train.

 

A few years ago, the train of Adam Hansen-Marcel Sieberg-Jurgen Roelandts-Greg Henderson-André Greipel was arguably the best in the world but after Roelandts decided to focus fully on the classics, his place was taken by Jens Debusschere. Last year Roelandts skipped the Tour but former Belgian champion Debusschere did an excellent job as his replacement as he played a key role in Greipel's most successful Tour yet.

 

This year the train was again set to be made up of Hansen, Sieberg, Debusschere, Henderson and Greipel but a late change of plans means that the lead-out will be stronger than ever. Following his great job for Greipel at the Giro and his highly successul Tour de Suisse where he finished secon in the prologue and wore the leader's jersey, Roelandts has opted to return to France, adding significant power to an already impressive train.

 

The other surprise inclusion in the team is Lars Bak who has made a remarkable recovery from his crash on the final stage of the Giro d'Italia. Despite suffering a punctured lung and multiple fractures, the Dane returned to racing at yesterday's Halle-Ingooigem and he has been deemed fit to take a place at the Tour where he will play his usual role of bringing the train into position and catch early escapees.

 

The final part of the team is made up of Thomas De Gendt and Tony Gallopin. The latter will target stage wins in the mountains and the intermediate stages but has shelved his GC ambtions despite his very good start to last year's race. De Gendt will work to catch breakaways and attack in stages that are too hard for Greipel.

 

“I think we’ve made a logical choice," manager Marc Sergeant said. "Eight of the nine riders were part of the team last year as well and Jürgen Roelandts is back after one season without riding the Tour. At the Giro he noticed how valuable it is to contribute to the team’s success and with his qualities he’s cut out for that work.

 

“Our goals are clear. We aim for a stage win with André Greipel. There is a lot of competition between the sprinters, but the past twelve months André has proven to still be able to perform on the important moments. During the Tour he can rely on his sprint train. There are a few stages where Tony Gallopin can have a go, but of course riders like Adam Hansen and Thomas De Gendt can take their chance as well. They have a free role.

 

“Lars Bak is part of the selection after a successful test at Halle-Ingooigem yesterday and the medical staff off our team, who also consulted doctor Toon Claes, gave him the green light. After his crash on the last Giro stage there was only a slim chance he would be able to ride the Tour, but right from day one he did all he could to grab that chance. In a team like ours a rider like Lars is very important to work during the flat stages.

 

“Bart De Clercq isn’t selected for the Tour. I understand he will be disappointed, but I think that just like last year, he can aim for a good overall result at the Tour de Pologne and a good Vuelta later this season. That way Bart can pursue a good personal result instead of working for the team at the Tour.”

 

The Tour de France starts on July 2.

 

Lotto Soudal for the Tour de France

André Greipel, Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere, Adam Hansen, Marcel Sieberg, Lars Bak, Tony Gallopin and Thomas De Gendt

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