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"With Tony Gallopin we have a strong leader and beside him we also have Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert who should be good on this kind of course. Tiesj Benoot will get a free role in this race."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BART DE CLERCQ

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IL LOMBARDIA

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JELLE VANENDERT

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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LOUIS VERVAEKE

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MAXIME MONFORT

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SANDER ARMEE

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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29.09.2016 @ 11:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Last year, Tony Gallopin finished seventh in the Giro di Lombardia and this year Lotto Soudal returns with ambition. The race of the falling leaves is the last race of the World Tour. The 110th edition will be ridden on Saturday. It is 240 kilometres long and the riders have to overcome 4400 elevation metres.

 

Lotto Soudal counts on Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens, who ended up as fourth in 2014. In last year’s Giro  di Lombardia Vincenzo Nibali triumphed. Tony Gallopin finished eighth in a scattered group after a very well-planned race. Together with Tim Wellens, he is one of the leaders of Lotto Soudal. Two years ago, Tim Wellens crossed the finish line as fourth in Bergamo after a similar race. He’s already looking forward to this year’s edition of the race of the Falling Leaves and he hopes to obtain a good result again.

 

Tim Wellens said: 

 

“In the Eneco Tour I wasn’t good. Once, we were close to the victory with André Greipel, but it wasn’t good enough. Unfortunately in the last stage the peloton didn’t let the breakaway of which I was a part of, ride for the win. My condition is still not how I want it to be. The season is almost over but I still hope I can obtain a nice result.

 

“The Giro di Lombardia is one of the nicest monuments in cycling. It’s a very beautiful race. With the two new climbs the race is a little bit tougher than in 2014, but the finish is still the same. Today I’m going to recon those two climbs. However, I think that the Valcava will be the hardest climb. It’s located halfway the day. It might not have a big influence on the race, but we still have to climb it. I cherish some beautiful memories of the finish in Bergamo in 2014 when I finished as fourth. I’m curious about how I will perform this year. I won’t focus on getting in the early break, but I’ll be fully concentrated during the finale. I want to obtain a good result and I can only hope that my legs will be good during the finale.”

 

Sports director Frederik Willems wishes for a top-ten place for his team in the Giro di Lombardia, but a spot on the podium would be absolutely fantastic he says.

 

"This year it will be a very tough Lombardia, even tougher than the edition of 2014. Just like in 2014, the start is in Como and the finish in Bergamo, but the race includes steeper and longer climbs. The last hundred kilometres it goes up and down all the time.

 

“I expect Astana and Team Tinkoff to control the race. There must be a reason why Alberto Contador is still racing this late in the season. Lotto Soudal has to get a rider in the breakaway. I’m spontaniously thinking about Maxime Monfort. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.

 

"With Tony Gallopin we have a strong leader and beside him we also have Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert who should be good on this kind of course. Tiesj Benoot will get a free role in this race: if he feels good, he’ll show it. However, we have wait and to see how the riders have recovered from the Vuelta and the Tour of Britain.

 

"A top ten place is realistic, but if we can perform as good as in 2014, or maybe do a little better and get on the podium, that would be fantastic. Anyway, with this race, I would be really happy with a top five place.”

 

Line-up:

Sander Armée, Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Maxime Monfort Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

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