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“We have several riders who can go for a good GC. A top ten spot is the goal. That won’t be easy, because the tradition goes that there are a lot of strong riders at the start."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

BART DE CLERCQ

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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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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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TOSH VAN DER SANDE

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VUELTA CICLISTA AL PAIS VASCO

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03.04.2015 @ 16:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 55th edition of the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, the Tour of the Basque Country, is just like the past years a WorldTour stage race suited for the climbers. From Monday 6th April until Saturday 11th April the peloton has to cover the Basque hills.

 

 

 

Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens, just returned from a training camp in Tenerife, are part of the Lotto Soudal selection. Jelle Vanendert will ride the Vuelta al País Vasco as preparation for the Ardennes classics. Other riders on the start list are: Michal Kwiatkowski, Rafal Majka, Bauke Mollema, Jean-Christoph Péraud, Thibaut Pinot, Rui Costa and Nairo Quintana. Sports director Mario Aerts analyses the chances of the Lotto Soudal riders.

 

“We have several riders who can go for a good GC. A top ten spot is the goal. That won’t be easy, because the tradition goes that there are a lot of strong riders at the start," he said. "Bart De Clercq proved to be in shape last week in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Maxime Monfort is our second guy for the overall standings. Also Louis Vervaeke could show himself.

 

"Tony Gallopin and Tim Wellens just came back from a training camp in Tenerife. So it will be awaiting how they recover from the first stages. But they can both choose a stage to shine. The same goes for Jelle Vanendert. This stage race is the ideal preparation for the Ardennes classics, in which they will compete.

 

“Tosh Van der Sande has a chance in the second stage to Vitoria. He gained a lot of confidence because of his bunch sprint win for the fourth place in the opening stage in Catalunya. Dennis Vanendert could go for an attack, and maybe the attack could last until the finish line. We will see day by day how we handle the race. The overall standings will play a role in this choice.

 

 

“The Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco is the hardest one-week stage race there is. I’ve experienced it myself as a rider. The tempo is fast and the climbs come in a rapid succession. The same hills come back each year, sometimes in a different order, but the race directors add new climbs each edition. There are plenty of climbs in this region. The second stage, to Vitoria, normally is the least hard stage where a group of eighty to ninety riders arrives at the finish together. Now extra climbs are added. For the GC riders all stages are worth paying extra attention to.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Bart De Clercq, Tony Gallopin, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

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