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"Greipel didn’t start his season, for the first time in seven years, in the Tour Down Under. So he is extremely motivated to get his first victory of the season in Mallorca. Debusschere was already second in a stage last year."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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BART DE CLERCQ

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CHALLENGE MALLORCA

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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LOUIS VERVAEKE

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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STIG BROECKX

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TIESJ BENOOT

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TIM WELLENS

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28.01.2015 @ 06:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal goes into the Challenge Mallorca with options for all races in the four-day race series. André Greipel and Jens Debusschere will target the sprint races while Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens will try to shine on the climbs.

 

The Challenge Mallorca is the first Europe Tour race of the season. The race consists of four individual races, four Trofeos. There is no overall classification. The teams can start each Trofeo with another selection.

 

On Thursday 29th January, the peloton kicks off the Challenge Mallorca with the Trofeo Santanyí. The first stage is 175 kilometres long and has five bonus sprints and five climbs of the fourth category. This can't be a problem for the sprinters, so a bunch sprint is expected at the finish line in Campos. The second day is a bit harder. Along the coast line the peloton will ride 149 kilometres from Andratx to Mirador d’Es Colomer. Four intermediate sprints, two third category climbs and a climb of second category at sixty kilometres from the finish should cause a decimation. But the final decision will be at the finish line. That finish line is drawn at the top of a steep climb with gradients over 10 %.

 

Stage three is full of climbs and descents. Only the best climbers will survive two fourth category and third category climbs, and three climbs of second category. The last twenty kilometres is a long descent which makes it possible for finishers to rejoin the leaders and battle for the victory in Deià. On the last day of the Challenge Mallorca the peloton only has to deal with the Coll des Grau. It’s a third category climb at fifty kilometres from the finish line. After 168 racing kilometres a bunch sprint is expected in Palma.

 

“It would be nice to get our first victory of the season in Mallorca," sports director Bart Leysen said. "The riders know the Spanish roads well because of their training camps. The first and last day are suited for our sprinters André Greipel and Jens Debusschere. Greipel didn’t start his season, for the first time in seven years, in the Tour Down Under. So he is extremely motivated to get his first victory of the season in Mallorca. Debusschere was already second in a stage last year. It’s possible that we decide during the race that our leading man for the bunch sprint will be the Belgian champion.

 

“The second and third Trofeo will suit our climbers, an ideal moment to test their legs. Especially the third stage is very hard. We have got Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert to take their chance and strive for the win. Besides that, youngsters Tiesj Benoot and Louis Vervaeke can show themselves. They race at a high level and hopefully they can get good results. Because there is no GC, the riders can look at the Challenge Mallorca day by day.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Jens Debusschere, Bart De Clercq, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

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