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“After 100 kilometres there is a very hard climb and as many of our riders as possible have to reach the top in the front of the peloton. We have to be represented in an early break to protect our leader Jelle and the two sub leaders....

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BART DE CLERCQ

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FRANCIS DE GREEF

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IL LOMBARDIA

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JELLE VANENDERT

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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05.10.2013 @ 08:35 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

On Sunday at ten to eleven the peloton starts in Bergamo for a 242 kilometres ride through Lombardia, negotiating five climbs on their way to the finish in Lecco.

 

After a calm run-up of 65 kilometres the heavy work can begin with the Valico di Valcava, the highest point of the race. Afterwards there is the much shorter Colle Brianza. Last year the Muro di Sormano returned in the race after an absence of 50 years. This year this brutally steep climb has once again made it into the race itinerary: it’s two kilometres long with an average gradient of 12% and a maximum gradient of 25%. This is actually the final part of the Colma di Sormano, the top peaking at 82 km from the end.

 

Next is the climb to the Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo, known as a cyclist place of pilgrimage. When the riders pass the bells will sound as usual. The final climb of the day is the Villa Vergano with top at 9.4 kilometres from the finish line. After a descent of 6.5 kilometres it’s flat to Lecco.

 

The Lotto-Belisol squad did a recce tour on the latter half of the parcours on Friday and will be implementing a three-pronged strategy for the race on Sunday according to Sports Director Marc Wauters.

 

“Jelle Vanendert will start with a lot of motivation, he wants to make something of his season after he had to leave the Vuelta because of hypothermia,” Marc Wauters said. “The team will support him. Bart De Clercq is also looking forward to this race. Because of the injury after his crash in the Vuelta he misses some competition rhythm and we have to wait which consequences this will have. Francis De Greef gets a free role; he can take his chance to go as far as possible in the finale.”

 

“After 100 kilometres there is a very hard climb and as many of our riders as possible have to reach the top in the front of the peloton. We have to be represented in an early break to protect our leader Jelle and the two sub leaders. It’s a very tough finale in Lombardia. It’s possible we use a triple because there are very steep parts.”

 

Lotto Belisol line-up for Il Lombardia:

Dirk Bellemakers, Gaëtan Bille, Brian Bulgaç, Gert Dockx, Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Jurgen Van de Walle and Jelle Vanendert.

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